OZAUKEE COUNTY — Businesses in Mequon, Thiensville and
the surrounding communities have definitely hit a sweet
spot this week thanks to the 97th PGA Championship
taking place Thursday through Sunday at Whistling
Straits, near Kohler, in Sheboygan County.
“Many restaurants and shops are already reporting an
upswing in business related to the 2015 PGA
Championship,” said Tina Schwantes, executive director
of the Mequon-Thiensville Chamber of Commerce.
Championship also means big business for hotels, as an
estimated 200,000 spectators are in the region until the
tournament wraps up on Sunday. Bob Briese and his
business partner, Linda Walsh, have owned the Chalet
Motel on Port Washington Road in Mequon since 1988.
Since 2004, this is the third major golf tournament at
Whistling Straits they’ve been around for and are
impressed with the prebookings over the Internet which
started earlier this summer.
took a number of reservations where customers locked in
and prepaid,” Briese said.
admits having a major golf tournament in the area during
his busy time of the season (July 15 to Aug. 15) gives
his establishment an additional boost, despite the fact
that Whistling Straits is approximately 45 miles away.
“It’s a simple case of supply and demand,” said Briese.
“I’ve got some people staying four and five nights, but
most people are staying at least three nights.”
Having an event of this caliber in the region is
creating quite a buzz at many area country clubs, like
North Shore in Mequon.
major golf event, like the PGA Championship, is just
phenomenal for the
area,” said Head PGA Professional at
North Shore County Club Jason Rasmussen. “A lot of our
members are going to take off and head up there.”
Rasmussen, a Grafton resident and PGA Professional since
2005, believes this is just the beginning and that the
area is going to continue to see increased excitement in
golf over the next several years.
“It’s great for the game of golf and Wisconsin,”
two more major PGA events returning to the state within
the next five years, area business are already making
plans to lure customers and take advantage of great,
upcoming opportunities that don’t come around very
“You’ll have people looking for rooms probably a little
over a year in advance, so you have to be on top of it,”
said Briese. It also means that private, family owned
businesses, like the Chalet Motel, will continue to rely
on word of mouth and exceptional customer service to
are not a national property so we depend on drive-up
business and customers who have stayed with us for
years,” Briese said.
fact, Briese said plans are already in motion for the
upcoming 2017 and 2020 tournaments as rooms will be
offered to their repeat customers. According to
Rasmussen, those upcoming events should once again
attract huge crowds to the region.
“Knowing that 40 minutes away you’re going to have some
of the best players from all over the world competing at
a facility in our state, it’s great. Golf is the focus
of this week and hopefully for years to come.”
U.S. Open is teeing off at the Erin Hills Golf Course in
2017, and the Ryder Cup is scheduled for Whistling
Straits in 2020. Both tournaments without a doubt will
have a tremendous impact on area businesses and the
local economy, he said.
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