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Economic impact of '07 Senior PGA will be significant

According to the Office of Tourism Analysis at the College of Charleston estimates suggest that the 2007 Senior PGA Championship at Kiawah Island will have a positive economic impact of more than $23.3 million on South Carolina.

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- As one of the Major Championships conducted by The PGA of America, The 2007 Senior PGA Championship will have a major economic impact on the State of South Carolina. The most historic and prestigious event in senior golf will generate an estimated impact of $23.3 million in direct spending by non-resident spectators and in expenditures by the PGA according to the Office of Tourism Analysis at the College of Charleston. Impact of the media coverage is not calculated in this initial estimate.

"The 2007 Senior PGA Championship is the first one of golf's major championships to be played in the State of South Carolina," said Helen Hill, Executive Director of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. "The Senior PGA Championship will feature the strongest field of the year with many of the game's all-time greatest players in the thick of the competition. This landmark event is also an exceptional business development opportunity and chance to showcase the state to existing and prospective clients.

"The Championship is scheduled to receive 14 hours of live television coverage over four days, with Saturday and Sunday rounds being broadcast live on NBC. This extensive exposure will serve to further position South Carolina as the southeast's premier golf destination," added Hill.

According to Roger Warren, President of The PGA of America and President of Kiawah Island Golf Resort, "The Ocean Course joins an elite group of golf courses in the country that have been awarded all four of The PGA of America's Championships."

The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort hosted the epic War by the Shore 1991 Ryder Cup Matches and 2005 PGA Club Professional Championship. The 2007 Senior Championship and The 2012 PGA Championship will complete the list.

"As the marquis tourism event in the state for 2007, the Senior PGA Championship sets the stage for The 94th PGA Championship which will be contested on The Ocean Course in August 2012. The presence of The PGA of America in South Carolina over the next six years gives the Charleston region unprecedented coverage in national and international golf publications," stated Warren. "This is positive coverage the region could not possibly afford to purchase and will elevate the prestige of playing golf in the Lowcounty in the mind of golfing enthusiasts around the world."

The College of Charleston Office of Tourism Analysis produced the estimated economic impact study.

"The estimates were produced in a conservative fashion assuming the average daily visitor expenditure of $248 -- which is the average estimate for all overnight visitors to Charleston adjusted by 5 percent for inflation for the next 2 years. It is likely that the PGA will attract more affluent visitors," said Dr. John Crotts, Chairman of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the College of Charleston.

"Furthermore, the athletes, their entourage and the large number of media personnel are not reflected in the visitor expenditure estimates. Lastly, the proportion of out-of-county visitors was estimated conservatively as 65 percent of all tickets sold," added Crotts.

"The ultimate impact is the four days of positive television exposure of Charleston including two days on NBC and two days on a cable network. The TV exposure will reach an affluent television audience that matches with the Charleston tourism industry?s target market," concluded Crotts.

"The economic impact that the Senior PGA Championship will contribute to South Carolina will be significant and wide-reaching," commented Buddy Darby, President of Kiawah Development Partners.

"In addition to general spectators, the tournament will bring top level corporate sponsors to the state, which enhances the economic development climate. It will be the most significant golf event in the state since the 1991 Ryder Cup. We expect the impact to be even greater than we experienced then as the golf industry has grown immensely in the past decade," said Darby.

The 2007 Senior PGA Championship will be contested May 22-27, 2007, on The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. For information on Hospitality, Volunteering or Tickets please visit www.SeniorPGA2007.com or contact the PGA Office at 843-768-8575.

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