Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Editorials

July 4, 2012

The Greenbrier Classic: Showcasing West Virginia

The third time looks to be the charm for the Greenbrier Classic. No longer simply known as  the newest addition to the PGA Tour, the Greenbrier Classic is now an established stop on the PGA Tour. And it’s a tremendous showcase for West Virginia.

Today, the eyes of the sports world will be on the Old White — not just because of the tournament but also due to the fact that a certain person will be playing. Yes, after three years of trying, Greenbrier owner Jim Justice has finally lured Tiger Woods to the Mountain State.

Woods, the biggest and most recognized name in golf, is competing in his first Greenbrier Classic. And he comes to the Mountain State with momentum on his side.

Just last weekend, Woods won the AT&T National. He comes to the Greenbrier having won three times this year, the most of anyone on the PGA Tour. Love him or hate him, you have to admit that having Tiger in town is big business for West Virginia.

 And the economic boost from the third Greenbrier Classic can’t be denied.

The tournament, and related concerts, are expected to once again attract thousands of visitors to the region. However, the benefits of this major tourism draw won’t be limited to Greenbrier County.

Hotels and motels within a three-hour radius of White Sulphur Springs are expecting a major increase in traffic. That includes our local hotels, motels and restaurants in Mercer County, particularly those located along the Interstate 77 corridor in Princeton. That’s because there are simply not enough hotels in the Lewisburg area to handle the volume of visitors expected this year — more so than in past years — thanks in part to the addition of Woods.

Any and all extra traffic is good for the regional economy as a whole.

Woods isn’t the only big name in town. Phil Mickelson and Tom Watson also are back for another Greenbrier Classic, along with inaugural tournament winner Stuart Appleby and last year’s winner Scott Stallings. And famous golfers aren’t the only celebrities in town. Rod Stewart and special guest Lionel Richie will take the stage at the Greenbrier Classic on Friday followed by Bon Jovi on Saturday.

We join the Greenbrier in extending a warm welcome to Tiger Woods and the the rest of the biggest names in pro golf. And we particularly welcome the thousands of visitors who are in the region for the Greenbrier Classic.

The PGA Tour is good for Greenbrier County, good for southern West Virginia and good for the Mountain State as a whole. And we should be in for a tremendous weekend of golf on the PGA Tour.

Enjoy.

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