Manulife LPGA Classic means big money for local businesses
Published Saturday, June 6, 2015 4:50PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, June 6, 2015 6:39PM EDT
More than 60,000 people are expected to attend the Manulife LPGA Classic at Whistle Bear Golf Club just outside Cambridge. Along with great golf, the tournament brings a big boost for local businesses.
“7.5 to five times every dollar spent goes into the economy which is great for us, be it in restaurants, hotels, things of that nature,” said Gary Dyke, CAO for the City of Cambridge
“It identifies that we're a first class city in the sense that we can hold a major sporting event or a major cultural event,” he continued.
This is the first year the event is being held at Whistle Bear. The move has been good for more than just the city.
“Our presale tickets were up about 15% over last year,” tournament director Milaina Wright said.
“On average the LPGA tour events generate between 9 and 13 million dollars,” said Wright, adding that she is proud that the Manulife LPGA Classic has some of the best attendance records on the tour.
“Whistle Bear Golf Club is so close to the 401, and it’s easy access for fans. If you're in Waterloo region it's really easy to get to, but we have a lot of fans that come from Toronto, Milton, London, Niagara Falls area and it's just easy to get to,” said Wright.
“The more people that get into Cambridge, the more they see what we have to offer. We have fantastic live theatre, other cultural events as well, as well as the many great places to play and live and stay, so it’s a wonderful opportunity to show what we have,” Dyke said.
Vendors like the exposure a large event like this can provide.
“Being able to come into a nationally sponsored event like this, it's an amazing exposure opportunity,” said Christine MacKay, feeding attendees from the Schmuck Truck food truck.
The Manulife LPGA Classic has partnered with the St. Mary’s General Hospital Foundation to raise money, and awareness for heart disease.
“Last year the LPGA actually cut the hospital a cheque for $288,000, and this year we're on track to exceed over a million dollars from the four years which is a great accomplishment,” said Marianne Harrison, president and CEO of Manulife Canada.
“As the event grows here in Cambridge, that will only multiply going forward. It also not only benefits Cambridge, but the region of Waterloo as a whole,” Dyke said.
The tournament wraps up Sunday.