On Thursday, business
owners and employees in Moore County got an update on preparations for the 2014
men's and women's U.S. Opens. They also heard about how they can take advantage
of the expected economic boost.
a well-attended luncheon at the Pinehurst Resort's Carolina hotel, Leighton
Schwob with the USGA explained what to expect from the two golf
championships. It is the first time both the men's and women's Opens will be held back to back on the same golf course.
Schwob expects more than 50,000 people at Pinehurst each day of the men's Open. Overall, both weeks will bring between $140
and $170 million he said.
Patrick Coughlin, the
President and CEO of the Moore County Chamber of Commerce, told businesses their
best opportunity to get part of that money is well before the Opens begin. He
said all of Moore County's lodging will be taken by people working at the
events. So visitors will come for golf and travel back to their out-of-town
hotels without spending a lot of extra time around Pinehurst.
So local businesses will
need to partner with vendors preparing for the Opens, Coughlin said.
"As we worked with the
USGA be found out very clearly, that beginning in March is really a wonderful
time for our businesses to connect with the preparations," Coughlin said.
Those vendors will need
all kinds of assistance from businesses Coughlin said, from caterers and
florists, to electricians and fencing companies. He said the Chamber will work
to match those vendors' needs with local businesses that can help.
"What makes sense is for
us to be the matchmaker and be the gatekeeper to find out what the vendors need
and just say, ‘alright who are the best businesses locally that can provide
that product or service,'" Coughlin explained.
Marva Kirk, the president
of Kirk Tours and Limousine said she plans to provide transportation services
for many of the vendors.
"Patrick Coughlin ensures
us that we will be – the Moore County businesses - will be taken care of," Kirk
Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon.More>>