PGA has big economic impact on region, lesser on some local attr - WDRB 41 Louisville News

PGA has big economic impact on region, lesser on some local attractions

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The PGA Tournament tees off next week at Valhalla.

While it will have a big economic impact on the area, some familiar local attractions likely won't see much of a boost from the tournament.

That's because most of the fans are expected to spend the entire day out at the course watching the best golfers in the world.

The banners along Main Street in downtown Louisville, about 20 miles from Valhalla, say Louisville is more than just a one horse town, and next week the city will prove that once again when it hosts the championship for a third time.

While the number of visitors expected next week isn't nearly as large as the Derby, it's still substantial.

"We expect about a hundred thousand visitors over the course of the seven days," the president of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Karen Williams, told WDRB News on Tuesday.

Williams says the PGA is more of a regional event with people coming to Louisville from a 350 mile radius.

It's estimated the week-long event will have an economic impact of $100 million on the region.

As the start of the tournament approaches, rooms at downtown hotels are becoming more scarce.

"We are almost sold out, we are projecting a sell out," says Debbie Whitlelock of the Brown Hotel at Fourth and Broadway, "we love to have big events like this where it is bringing in people from out of town and staying with us a couple of days, it really gives them an opportunity to enjoy the city."

While golf fans are likely to enjoy the city's restaurants and bars, it's doubtful they will find much time to enjoy many of the other attractions around town including the museums along West Main Street.

"We have learned over the years with PGA events that the guests coming into town stay out there at the event," says the executive director of the Louisville Slugger Museum Anne Jewell, "we totally understand that and we are already very busy this time of year anyway."

Williams agrees. "I think the attractions may feel it some, but I think it is the restaurants that are really going to feel it because people are going to stay out on the course until like 8 or 9 o'clock, especially if the pros are playing, no one is going to leave that course so then all they'll have time to do later in the evening is eat and drink in our restaurants and bars."

The Slugger Museum will host two private events in the evening involving the tournament.

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