Six months out of the year, parts of Arizona are known only for the hot weather that keeps people indoors or inspires them to head outside the hot zones to greener pastures. But when the weather finally snaps at the beginning of November, people dust off their golf bags, hiking shoes, and other sports-related accoutrements to bask in the enviable temperatures.
Also jumping at the opportunity to take advantage of our amazing seasonal weather are professional sports organizations who are looking for the perfect spot to promote their outdoor tournaments, like the PGA, which is holding its Charles Schwab Cup Championship on November 7-11. For five days, a who’s-who of PGA golfers will be swinging away at the Phoenix Country Club, driving in audiences from all over the Greater Phoenix area to boost Arizona’s status as a golfer’s paradise.
However, after the divots are replaced and broken tees are cleaned up, the spirit of the tournament will carry on at the inaugural Experience Arizona Open and After Party. The golf tournament, held on November 12, will benefit Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association (AzLTA) scholarship programs that support the industry’s talent pipeline, namely in the hospitality, lodging and tourism industries.
“We are excited to launch this inaugural event, which provides community members, business leaders and influencers the opportunity to celebrate and support our industry and its immense impact on Arizona’s economy,” said Kim Sabow, President & CEO, AzLTA.
Though the tournament is sold out, people can still drop in at the Experience Arizona Open: After Party, which kicks off at 4:30pm on November 12. Sponsored by TopGolf and Talking Stick Entertainment District, the public event will feature fine dining options and live entertainment, and will benefit scholarship programs as well as veterans organizations.
“The After Party is a great opportunity for entertainment, networking and enjoying Arizona’s beautiful fall weather against the backdrop of the scenic Phoenix Country Club,” adds David Drennon, Executive Vice President, AzLTA.
According to Promote Arizona, the state continues to see a rise in financial benefits from holding top tier sporting events. Just take for examples the 2015 Super Bowl, which brought in $719 million in revenue, or the annual spring training baseball season, which saw a total of $545 million this year. The folks over at AzLTA are hoping to continue this shot in the arm for the state’s economy by supporting premier events like the Charles Schwab Cup, but are also focused on fueling the workforce pipeline needed to support the future of lodging and tourism.
As mentioned, the Experience Arizona Open will commit proceeds to the AzLTA Scholarship program. This program supports the state’s lodging and tourism industry, one that is on the rise and will have a natural need for support moving forward. According to Promote Arizona, the state has a total of more than 95,000 rooms to support the 43 million annual overnight visitors who come through. What’s more, the industry sustains more than 300,000 jobs and is expected to rise in the coming years. The scholarships will support education and training for those looking to further their career in hospitality, tourism or lodging.
The PGA Charles Schwab Cup Championship was so successful last year that they recently announced a 10-year partnership agreement, making Arizona the home of the Cup for the next decade.