Cape officials have high hopes for Aug. golf tournament

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The upcoming Dalhousie Junior Championship is expected to bring an economic windfall to Cape Girardeau, city leaders said.

Scheduled for Aug. 12 to 14 at Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau, the American Junior Golf Association tournament will bring more than 140 12-to-18-year-old golfers to the city. Co-sponsored by Montgomery Bank and the Friends of Golf Society, the event is one of 82 tournaments the association coordinates throughout the United States each year.

Cape Girardeau Mayor Jay Knudtson estimates the event will draw more than 1,000 out-of-town visitors who will fill the city's hotel rooms and restaurants.

During the week, hotel rooms seldom reach full capacity. However, because the tournament falls on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Knudtson said hotel management should see an increase in revenue that week.

"This is an opportunity to showcase our entire region and expose it to people from the United States and world," Knudtson said. "Last year the tournament exceeded our expectations through the tireless efforts of volunteers and business owners. It's a world-class golf course, and the more we can expose the golf course to those outside our area, the better."

Chuck Martin, executive director of the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the event's financial result could be $75 per person attending the tournament. While visitors will spend money on hotel rooms, restaurants and shopping, Martin said out-of-town guests also notice that Cape Girardeau is a top golf destination.

"I was talking with someone who came down from the tournament last year from Jefferson City, and he commented how impressed he was with the golf course and the community," Martin said. "And those people may return here for golf or a vacation at other times during the season, further adding a boost into our economy. Anytime we have an event like this on a continuous basis, the impact is tens of thousands of dollars back into the economy."

Jack Connell, director of Dalhousie Golf Club, said the community's support is vital to the tournament's success. The innagural event in 2007 earned the distinction of tournament of the year. He said the honor was due in large part to the sponsoring businesses and 200 volunteers.

"It was about this area, the Midwest, the community coming together and getting involved in this project," Connell said. "The association's staff was very impressed at the dedication of everyone here that played a part."

For more information on sponsoring or volunteering at the tournament, call 450-4151.

bblackwell@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 137

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