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Economic Impact of the U.S. Open

There’s little doubt that, in addition to Tiger Woods, The Torrey Pines Golf Course came out the big winner at the U.S. Open. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more on a San Diego State University Rep

There’s little doubt that, in addition to Tiger Woods, the Torrey Pines Golf Course came out the big winner at the U.S. Open.  KPBS reporter Alison St John has more on a San Diego State University Report on the economic impacts of the Golf Tournament.

More than 60,000 of the 100,000 people who lined the fairways of the US Open came from out of town. They spent over $70 million, according to an analysis by SDSU. The Torrey Pines Pro shop sold over $25 million in merchandise, much of it with logos commemorating the event.

Hotels and restaurants sold $8 million in food and drink, though SDSU’s Carl Winston says not all the hotels ended up benefiting from the event.

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<b> Winston: </b> Some of the hoteliers that I’ve spoken with have spent the last two years turning away business, conventions that would have come into their hotels. They overestimated what the economic benefit would be to their specific business. <br>

Winston estimates the Open generated one and a half million dollars for the city of San Diego in extra TOT, or tourist tax, dollars.

However the city spent almost a million helping to upgrade the course, and also paid police overtime to provide security and manage the traffic.

Winston says it’s impossible to quantify the value of the TV coverage.

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<b> Winston: </b> Thirty hours of prime time television… that was priceless.

The survey shows 85% of the out of town visitors said they’d come back to another U.S. Open in San Diego. But  97% of them said they’d come back to San Diego, with or without an Open.

More than half of those visitors have annual incomes of over $100,000.

Alison St John, KPBS News.