Mark your calendars for July 28 through August 3, 2008. The 2008 U.S. Senior Open is coming to town.
I shot a 47 on the front nine of The Broadmoor’s East Course over the weekend, which isn’t bad for me. I put a string of pars together and then thought in my head, “I am not this good,” and proceeded to throw-out an eight.
Don’t ask me what I shot on the back nine, it wasn’t pretty.
This column isn’t about my golf game. It is about community and the state. This is the sixth USGA championship that will be held at The Broadmoor. More than 900 volunteers have already signed up from across the country. The tournament organizers will need 3,000 volunteers to run the event, which will have a $30 million dollar impact on the state.
The Senior Open will be broadcast on ESPN and NBC to 50 different countries around the world. What will we do as a community to capitalize on this? We need to make this a communitywide event.
I envision welcoming golfers and golf fans with signs throughout the city. I see banners hanging downtown and on roads leading to The Broadmoor. How about from an economic development standpoint? How are we going to buy TV spots touting the benefits of moving a company to our great city?
Sure, there will be the obligatory video talking about Colorado Springs, but I am talking about something bigger, better and more. I will try to get advertising rates to get this ball rolling. How about a small, short-term tax to raise money to be able to advertise during the week long tournament? Eek.
What could the economic impact be if the folks at the Economic Development Corp. landed a couple of prospects from California?
I figure the call to the EDC would sound something like:
Prospect: Hi, I saw your ad about Colorado Springs during the U.S. Senior Open. You mean it really doesn’t snow all year long? You really have only 15 minute commute times? Wow, here in the Los Angeles area I commute 2.5 hours each way every day. I didn’t know you had a world-class Fine Arts Center, skiing only a couple of hours away, a great quality of life and a good business environment.
EDC: Sure, that is all true.
Prospect: Can you set up some time for some of us from Paramount Studios to come out for a visit?
I happened to be in Des Moines for the 1999 U.S. Senior Open and according to Doug Habgood, the championship director for the tournament, “the Des Moines event broke all the records.”
Why can’t we as a community and as a state break all the records?
I asked Habgood what this meant and he said, “they look at all the pieces, more corporations in hospitality, more tickets and more volunteers.”
So let’s come together and break all the records again. All you companies out there put some extra money in the 2008 budget for sponsorship.
This will be a great time to come together and showcase our great city. Let’s figure it out early and make sure we do it right.
I know many of you are already in the loop and have engaged Habgood. If not, call the championship office at 633-OPEN and get involved.
Lon Matejczyk is publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at Lon.Matejczyk@csbj.com or 329-5202.