LPGA Impacts Prattville's Economy

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By Catalina Trivino

It was the final day of the LPGA Tournament...and golf fans poured into Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Prattville throughout the weekend hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the best in women's golf. But spectators weren't the only ones excited... businesses say they're thrilled about the economic boost it's brought to the city.

One hundred and thirty seven of the world's greatest golfers, plus 50 thousand fans, equals a big payout for the city of Prattville.

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill hosted the Navistar LPGA Classic during the weekend bringing in crowds from all across the globe.

"From the attendance standpoint, we're about right at where we are typically. I mean, if you could look at it where we are going to be within three or four thousand people each year from where we are," Said LPGA Tournament Director, Jonathan Romeo. "But I think from my feedback that I am getting from fans and the folks that I've asked, this year people seem to be having a better experience from all the little tweaks that we did."

Off the green, local businesses are reeling in some green of their own. City officials say hotels are packed and restaurants extra busy. Hotels, like Days Inn, have been sold out most of the week.

"It's been pretty busy. We've been busy all week. We've been booked up. We usually have the same customers. They usually come back over years," Said Days Inn employee, Christina White.

More tourists also means more mouths to feed. Restaurants, like O'Charlie's, say they've had to staff up.

"We love this time of year. It's really really good for us. Our sales are up and guest counts are up," Said O'Charlie's Service Manager, Jacob Moore.

But can they count on the LPGA returning to Prattville next year? City and tournament officials say it's too early to know the answer. Prattville city councilman, Ray Boles, says they're hoping to see the tournament return for it's seventh year.

"We definitely want it back. It's great for the areas and I believe they'll come back because it's been a good mixture for both the LPGA, the Ladies PGA, the city of Prattville and the city of Montgomery," Said Boles.

Tournament Director, Jonathan Romeo, tells CBS 8 he's confident the LPGA Classic will be back in Prattville next year. He says they'll evaluate the event first and know whether it will return in about six to eight weeks. City officials also tell us this year, Prattville put $240,000 towards the golf tournament. Another $200,000 came from the city of Montgomery.

 

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