U.S. Open boosts business in Wake County
Posted June 21
Raleigh, N.C. — With a limited amount of hotel rooms available in Pinehurst and thousands of players, officials, media and tourists in town for the back-to-back U.S. Open Championships, spectators had to look out of town for a play to stay. With Raleigh about an hour away, tourism in Wake County rose nearly 14 percent.
Anita Patel owns a Comfort Inn in Apex. She said she knew she would get some U.S. Open spectators staying at her hotel, but she had no idea how many.
"We were actually quite surprised," she said. "We got quite a bit."
Patel said business at her hotel was up 35 percent from last year and that rooms were sold out three nights during the Men's Championship.
"I had to send people all the way out to Fuquay-Varina because people could not find rooms in the area," she said.
Overall, occupancy was up 20 percent in Wake County over this time last year, according to tourism officials.
Denny Edwards, with the Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau said with all the visitors staying in Raleigh, businesses were given a big boost.
"Visitors spend a few hours at the U.S. Open, then come back and have the opportunity to eat, shop and explore the area," he said.
Edwards said for many people, it was their first visit to the Raleigh area.
"Out hope is that the corporations that had the opportunity to use some of our hotels will come back and have additional meetings and conventions down the road," he said.
Patel said the U.S. Open is welcome back anytime.
"We love it! We wish it would come here more often," she said.
According to Edwards, the next big event for Raleigh is the World of Bluegrass in early October.