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updated: 1/8/2013 5:56 AM

DuPage towns still counting benefits from Ryder Cup

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  • Pro golfers like Bubba Watson attracted nearly 45,000 visitors per day to Medinah Country Club in September during the 2012 Ryder Cup. Now towns surrounding the site are weighing whether the extra crowds were a boon or bust.

       Pro golfers like Bubba Watson attracted nearly 45,000 visitors per day to Medinah Country Club in September during the 2012 Ryder Cup. Now towns surrounding the site are weighing whether the extra crowds were a boon or bust.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Towns like Bloomingdale spent extra time marketing the Ryder Cup in September. Now some are seeing a direct financial boost from the golf tournament.

       Towns like Bloomingdale spent extra time marketing the Ryder Cup in September. Now some are seeing a direct financial boost from the golf tournament.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • Two charities are poised to gain thousands of dollars this week from a Ryder Cup memorabilia auction, roughly four months after the 2012 tournament ended. This piece, painted by the late LeRoy Neiman, had a bid of nearly $16,000 Monday.

      Two charities are poised to gain thousands of dollars this week from a Ryder Cup memorabilia auction, roughly four months after the 2012 tournament ended. This piece, painted by the late LeRoy Neiman, had a bid of nearly $16,000 Monday.
    Courtesy of Ronald McDonald House Charities

 

Several DuPage County communities are still calculating the benefits from the Ryder Cup -- both in terms of money and image -- even though golf's most prestigious tournament left Medinah Country Club nearly four months ago.

The event also continues to pay dividends for charities such as Ronald McDonald House of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana that are poised to receive thousands of dollars more this week from a tournament-related online auction.

Towns such as Bloomingdale, Itasca and Roselle spent months planning for the five-day event that attracted daily crowds of up to 45,000. That meant extra marketing costs for the towns to showcase their restaurants and shopping venues, as well as paying overtime for police and traffic control.

But as sales tax receipts from that period begin rolling in, officials in many of the municipalities near Medinah say the Ryder Cup boosted their revenues and made their efforts worth the trouble.

"If you just take our numbers, yes, the Ryder Cup was a great month," Itasca Village Administrator Evan Teich said.

Itasca spent roughly $19,000 on overtime pay for police directing traffic near the country club. And the village joined Bloomingdale, Roselle, Wood Dale, Glendale Heights and Addison to spend about $700 each to create a concierge map and mobile website for tourists.

But the benefits from the Ryder Cup clearly outweighed Itasca's expenses. September sales tax revenues jumped $67,000 from last year -- from $395,000 to $462,000. Hotel taxes in the village also jumped from $308,000 in September 2011 to $388,000 in September 2012 when the Ryder Cup was in town.

The village also showed increases in revenue from its food and beverage tax that generated $23,000 in October 2011 and $35,000 in September 2012.

Teich says officials estimate the Ryder Cup boosted Itasca's revenue by roughly $159,000.

"Itasca has about 1,100 hotel rooms, and if there is something like the Ryder Cup that is going to keep them at nearly 100 percent occupancy for almost two weeks, we are clearly going to directly benefit from that," he said.

Teich also said many hotels required minimum stays and charged a premium, with rooms that typically cost less than $100 a night running at $200 to $300 during the tournament.

Many hotel banquet and meeting halls also were booked, with groups like StubHub renting the Holiday Inn Itasca meeting rooms for four days as a ticket-pickup headquarters.

Itasca also raised roughly $14,000 for a mix of charities during special events held during Ryder Cup week, such as a craft beer tasting.

Nearby Bloomingdale also saw a boost in revenues, though its numbers tell a slightly different story.

Finance Director Gary Szott said Bloomingdale's sales tax has been fluctuating significantly from month to month, and September's was relatively flat compared to the previous year. Yet in August, revenues were up 13 percent from 2011.

"The state only gives us a lump sum number (of revenues) that makes it difficult to analyze," Szott said. "We can't tell what retailer or section of town might be causing a jump or a drop."

But Bloomingdale's hotel tax revenues are more clear. In September 2011, revenues were at $69,000. During the Ryder Cup month, revenues for nearly 500 rooms across three hotels jumped to $92,000.

"There was definitely a positive impact," Szott said.

Though the $23,000 increase mixed with some sales tax increases proved profitable, Bloomingdale also spent roughly $24,000 on police overtime. The village plans to ask for some reimbursement from PGA America for its services, Szott said.

Officials in Roselle said they also saw a rise in revenues, but can't really attribute them to the Ryder.

Roselle is home to only one hotel and a few luxury suites at Lynfred Winery. And while the village's hotel tax revenues increased from September 2011 to the same month in 2012, Village Administrator Jeff O'Dell said the jump is part of a steady trend.

"We have seen a general increase throughout the year and it would be difficult for me to say that any increase in September is due to the Ryder," he said.

Still, the Ryder's prestige and nostalgia continues to prove profitable for some.

The Magnificent Moments campaign to benefit Ronald McDonald House and the Illinois PGA Foundation currently is hosting an online memorabilia auction at greenjacketauctions.com. Bidding ends at 8 p.m. Friday.

Magnificent Moments began hosting charity events in September 2011 leading up to the tournament, and bids are at nearly $16,000 for a giant golf ball painted by the late LeRoy Neiman for the Ryder Cup.

Bloomingdale Village President Bob Iden said the payoff of the Ryder is regional and isn't just about immediate dollars and cents.

"Everyone at Medinah said the event was so positive and it really put Medinah Country Club and all of our local towns back on the map," he said.

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