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Suburbs hope golf tournament will bring tourists

September 9, 2013

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Officials in suburban Chicago are hoping an influx of spectators for the BMW Championship golf tournament that starts Monday will bring tourism dollars to the area.

Western Golf Association vice president Vince Pellegrino anticipates a $30 million economic impact. The tournament at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest ends Saturday.

“The majority of the people will be coming from outside Lake County for the championship,” Pellegrino told the Daily Herald (http://bit.ly/15GKzx2 ). “With the way ticket sales have gone we’re anticipating large crowds.”

Pellegrino estimated the event will draw about 125,000 people including 1,600 volunteers and support staff. Daily attendance is expected at between 25,000 and 30,000.

Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureau President Maureen Riedy said restaurants and hotels will see the main impact.

“A lot of it is trying to get the word out before they (visitors) arrive and getting them information on dining opportunities when they’re at the hotels,” Riedy said.

But Lake Forest College economic professor Robert Baade, who has studied the impact of large sporting events, said the $30 million could be exaggerated.

“I have a hunch it’s so dispersed, the (economic) impact isn’t likely to be felt to any significant degree anywhere,” he said.


Information from: Daily Herald, http://www.dailyherald.com

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