Pasco County and Saddlebrook Resort Tampa are joining forces to host the 2014 Golfweek Senior Amateur Championship and the Golfweek Junior Tour Championship early next year.
The Pasco County Commission voted unanimously to approve a $50,000 sponsorship in a joint venture with Saddlebrook and Golfweek Magazine.
“I think this is a phenomenal opportunity,” Commissioner Jack Mariano said.
If the county can get people to look at Pasco, especially at the right time of year, it could open new possibilities, not only for Saddlebrook, but for other quality area golf courses, Mariano said.
“The promotional value to Pasco County, highlighting some strong assets that we have, is tremendous,” he said.
“Maybe this will be the beginning of a lot of opportunities,” said Commission Chairman Ted Schrader, noting the county’s success with the national lacrosse tournament that takes place annually in Wesley Chapel.
This partnership is the tourism office’s first foray into promoting Pasco’s golf amenities, said Eric Keaton of the Office of Tourism Development. Revenues from bed taxes pale in comparison to the promotional value of the venture.
Besides Saddlebrook, the county has 20-plus courses, Keaton said.
“Golfweek and Saddlebrook are going to work together to not only promote their destination, but also a number of other golf destinations in the county,” Keaton said.
Keaton told commissioners the tourism office has the money to cover the expense because its revenues exceeded expectations, and costs were kept below budget. The value of the partnership “exceeds the purchase price two-fold,” agenda documents supporting the proposal noted, adding that Golfweek is the “Cadillac of golfing advertising platforms.”
The senior tournament is scheduled for Jan. 15-17 and is expected to involve 80 players on one golf course. The event should generate 400-plus room nights, as golfers arrive the day before the three-day tournament, and depart the day after the event ends.
Spouses are expected to accompany the senior golfers, potentially bringing in more revenue to the county.
The junior tournament, which will be in January or February, is expected to draw 40 to 60 golfers on a single course and will involve two days of golf, the agenda materials read.
The event is projected to create 240-plus room nights with golfers accompanied by their families.
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