The winner of this week’s LPGA Marathon Classic will receive $195,000, but she won’t be the only one to cash in from the tournament.
Sylvania’s businesses and hotels should benefit substantially from the tournament going on through Sunday at Highland Meadows Golf Club, said Pat Nowak, executive director of the Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce. Many people from around the country who do business with Marathon, Owens Corning, and O-I, the tournament’s primary sponsors, will provide an economic boost to the city, she said.
“We have people who stay in our hotel, and the hotel’s booked,” Ms. Nowak said. “We have people who participate in our restaurants ... and then you’ll see people during the day stopping to get a Pepsi on their way to the tournament, or stopping in at the shop after.”
Lea MacLaren, general manager for the Wingate by Wyndham hotel in downtown Sylvania, said the hotel’s 74 rooms are 100 percent occupied the whole week.
Corporate customers and Toledo-based companies block off rooms as early as a year in advance for the pro-am competitions Monday through Wednesday, she said. Later in the week, occupants consist of players and patrons, as well as people in town for weddings and family reunions during the hotel’s peak season.
“This is a different type of busy for us, because we are also showcasing the Sylvania area to those patrons here for the tournament,” she said.
Jim and Nancy Schlosser of Pittsburgh were two patrons exiting Wednesday’s pro-am session who planned to spend multiple days in the Toledo area. “We’re going to maybe spend some time on the lake and come to the tournament,” Mr. Schlosser said.
Katherine Volpi, sole owner of C’est la Vie, an interior design shop and boutique, said the tournament week typically brings about a $500 increase in sales at her store, though she declined to comment on the store’s typical weekly revenue.
“We are always aware when we have new customers, especially this week,” she said, adding that her employees ask customers where they are from or what brought them in.
Treo restaurant on Main Street tripled its normal sales Monday, said general manager Nate Schank, who also declined to give an amount. To accommodate tournament patrons, the restaurant opens an hour earlier at 4 p.m this week, and patrons are offered discounts on appetizers when they present an LPGA ticket.
The economic benefit also extends beyond for-profit businesses.
The Sylvania United Church of Christ on Erie Street, just across the road from Highland Meadows, charges $5 per car to use its parking lot. Jeff Crandell, who’s in charge of the parking lot volunteers, said the money raised goes to church outreach programs such as Habitat for Humanity. Parking sales benefit both the outreach programs and the tournament by providing patrons ample parking.
Sandy Moore, 66, and her husband, Jerry, are just two of many residents near Erie Street who charge $5 to park in their yard, which can hold about 30 cars. Mrs. Moore said last year they took in about $500.
Mrs. Moore said she loves meeting friendly people who park on their property. But the cash brought in, which she said will be used to go out to eat or remodel a bathroom, doesn’t hurt, either.
“Extra money for nothing,” she said.
Contact Sam Gans at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6516.