Addison, Bloomingdale, Glendale Heights, Itasca, Roselle and Wood Dale have dubbed themselves "host towns" for the 39th Ryder Cup, which is coming to the Medinah Country Club Sept. 25-30. Now they are working together and with the PGA to capitalize on the famous golf tournament that is expected to draw 45,000 people per day.
Staff members from each town met Tuesday to discuss potential ideas that could promote local businesses to Ryder tourists and get residents excited about this rare event.
The centerpiece of their efforts so far includes a map of local restaurants, services, attraction, hotels and amenities, which will be distributed to guests in each of those towns' hotels that week.
"There is only one restaurant in Medinah, so visitors might like to know they can come nearby and eat at Casale's or any of our restaurants," Aranas said.
The map will reach hundreds of visitors, since so far all of the 408 rooms at the Westin Chicago Northwest in Itasca are booked for the event. Village officials said guests are primarily media crews from around the globe. In addition, the 308 rooms at Hilton Indian Lakes in Bloomingdale are also sold-out, and officials from the other four towns say reservations are on the upswing at their hotels.
Nicole Aranas, Itasca director of community development, said the map will be a supplement to the official Ryder Cup visitors guide being produced by the DuPage Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"We have talked to them to make sure we're not competing," Aranas said.
The map will also include a Quick Response Code, which will take web users to a virtual version of the map that can link them to businesses via the Internet. Several staff members suggested creating Ryder Cup posters that could hang at train stations, hotel lobbies, Ryder Cup parking sites, and other high-traffic areas that would also feature the QR Code.
But the six towns are creating other promotional ideas, too. Each will post banners welcoming the Ryder Cup at tournament time. Staff members also suggested possible ideas, such as promoting the fall event at their respective summer festivals with interactive exhibits like a portable putting green, or fliers that share a schedule of events leading to the Ryder Cup.
One major event happening to preview the tournament is the opening of the Medinah Country Club one weekend prior. Although visitors cannot golf there and will not have full access to the private club, they can get a look at designated areas and buy official PGA gear.
"There are people who have lived here all their lives and have never set foot in that place, and we should find a way to let them know about it," Aranas said.
Addison Community Relations Director Don Weiss said it's also important for the six towns to devise events that celebrate the Ryder Cup. The PGA encourages this, he said, and other towns throughout the country hosting similar tournaments have held concerts, golf-related events and modified their standing festivals.
"The PGA reps said, in other communities, there is an interest to celebrate," Weiss said. "Although many people in the area will most likely not be attending, the citizens still want to feel like they are part of it. They want to be part of welcoming this event that likely will never be back in this area because of its infrequency."
Staff suggested possibly holding a charity competition involving the mayors of Addison, Bloomingale, Glendale Heights, Itasca, Roselle and Wood Dale, but did not cement a format. All ideas must be presented to each towns' village board or city council, and staff members said that is slated for May in each municipality.