Ryder Cup big economic boost to western suburbs

September 25, 2012 2:52:36 PM PDT
Tiger Woods leads a team of American golfing all-stars against the best of Europe this week in the Ryder Cup tournament.

The international competition will be a big economic boost for business in the Chicago area.

All the big names in golf are in town. For one week only, the Medinah Country Club has what is likely a once in a lifetime opportunity to the biennial event that is often likened to the Super Bowl of golf.

"My wife signed us up last year, I didn't even know. This is exciting for us, we can bring the kids down," said Jamie Tuinstra, visitor.

The Illinois PGA says that 45,000 people will come through Medinah every day between now and Sunday. The economic impact for DuPage County and the entire surrounding area is estimated to be over $130 million as much, if not more, than NATO brought in, without the astronomical security costs.

"From hotels to restaurants, everything has been booked up and sold out because you don't just have domestic and local fans but a huge contingent from Europe as well," said Michael Miller, Illinois PGA.

The DuPage County Airport is among those capitalizing on the event. Not only did both the U.S. and European teams fly in there, the airport stand to triple the number of flights they usually get. That could translate into an extra few hundred thousand dollars for them just in fuel sales.

"We're kind of viewing it two ways, near term which is the services we sell, fuel that we sell, but in the long term it's a marketing effort for the DuPage County Airport to introduce people both to this airport and to the county," said David Bird, Dupage County Airport.

On the other end, both everyday people and small businesses surrounding the country club also stand to gain. Enterprising homeowners rented out their lawns for cars looking to park nearby, while Sharon Kopulos who manages Gaynor's Restaurant across the street from Medinah set up a beer tent for visitors to stop by on their way into the cup.

"It would be wonderful if we can just get a piece of that. So far we've been busy and it's just the first day. So I'm sure it's going to build with each day," said Kopulous.


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