OCONOMOWOC — A
parcel of land in Oconomowoc will be transformed into a parking lot
that will accommodate a portion of the tens of thousands of people
who are expected to attend the 2017 U.S. at Erin Hills Golf Course.
championship manager for the 2017 U.S. Open, told the Enterprise
that the United States Golf Association has identified and selected
a parcel of land just off of Interstate 94 in Oconomowoc, though he
declined to identify its name or location at this time.
For the USGA,
the creation of a satellite parking system and a transportation plan
for all major golf tournaments is an absolute necessity. Steimer
said the lots do a wonderful job of pushing away the bulk of
spectator traffic around the courses. By dispersing the many
spectators, (Steimer expects 16,000 to 18,000 vehicles to travel to
the course for the tournament) congestion on area roads is greatly
reduced, and a bottleneck of bumpers isn’t as likely.
the parcels of land will be improved until they are significant
enough to hold cars for seven days: during the tournament’s practice
rounds, June 12-14, 2017, and during the tournament, June 15-18,
The lot that
will be built in Oconomowoc will accommodate the traffic coming from
the western portions of the state, such as Madison, the western
suburbs of Milwaukee, southern Wisconsin and Illinois.
The area will be
restored to its previous state or something similar after the
Once parked, the
USGA will take the tournament spectators to Erin Hills in shuttle
vehicles that can seat about 50 people at a time. The parking and
transportation will be free.
The U.S. Open: a
time to showcase Lake Country
estimates suggest the 2017 U.S. Open will have a $130 million to
$140 million economic impact on the area, Steimer said. Moreover, he
said the area where men’s major golf championships are held
typically experience positive economic impact several years after
the last ball is teed off. These whopping statistics haven’t gone
unnoticed in Oconomowoc, which has been seeking ways it can maximize
the benefits presented by U.S. Open.
Bob Duffy, the
director of Oconomowoc’s Bureau of Economic Development, said the
city scored a victory recently when Erin Hills granted its request
to have Oconomowoc profiled on the city’s website.
Oconomwoc’s pursuit of major victories. Duffy said the bureau, the
Oconomowoc Chamber of Commerce, and a number of businesses have now
started discussing ways to encourage U.S. Open fans to visit
Oconomowoc not just in 2017, but for many years to come.
“Our hope is
that people who are coming for the open come to and enjoy Oconomowoc
and Lake Country while they’re here,” said Katie Miller, executive
director of the Oconomowoc Chamber of Commerce. “
Oconomowoc will attempt to capitalize on the fact that there isn’t
anywhere close to enough lodging options in the Town of Erin to
accommodate the thousands of golf fans who will be coming to the
2017 U.S. Open.
going to be looking into surrounding communities as far away as
Chicago” Miller said. ”Oconomowoc specifically has so much to offer
in terms of lodging options, activities outside, water activities,
golf courses. ...there’s so many things that we can contribute to a
wonderful vacation or time away for these folks that I think we’re
going to put some really nice things together.”
information on the 2017 U.S. Open, go to
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