One golfer will emerge Sunday as winner of the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Silvis. But when it comes to economic impact the golf tournament has on the Quad-City area, the winners are too numerous to mention.
It's estimated that the tournament brings millions of dollars into the community in a variety of ways, from hotel rooms rented, to meals eaten in restaurants, to gallons of gas purchased.
Bart Baker, volunteer chairman of the 2013 John Deere Classic board and co-owner of Frontier Hospitality Group, puts the number at a minimum of $25 million.
"We have not updated these studies. I think the last time we did this was five or six years ago, if not longer than that," he said. "But I think the impact then was $25 million to $30 million."
Baker added that another contributor to the local economy is the amount raised through Birdies for Charity program, which assists hundreds of area nonprofits. He said the program raised $6.8 million last year. Last year, 20,000 businesses and individuals made pledges based on the number of birdies shot by the professional golfers during the tournament.
Joe Taylor, president and chief executive officer of the Quad-Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the effect the tournament has is far-reaching. For instance, several Quad-City restaurants have become must-stops for golfers and their families.
"The stories I hear is they enjoy locally owned restaurants, like Duck City Bistro, Jim's Rib Haven and of course, Whitey's," he said. "They have become traditional stops for many people during the tournament."
Bill Renk, director of public relations and promotions for Jumer's Casino & Hotel in Rock Island, said this is a big week for everyone.
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"JDC week is good for the community and good for us, too," Renk said. "We have 205 hotel rooms, and we pretty much are a sellout this week until Sunday. We get caddies, players, a good mix of that in the hotel. We sponsor the tournament as well, which is our way of giving back. There is no doubt that a percentage of our (filled) rooms are directly related to the tournament. That is true also for our casino floor and restaurants."
Baker and Taylor agree that in addition to the tangible signs of the financial boost from the tournament, there also is the name recognition.
"Sometime in the next day or so, we will be seeing the MetLife blimp taking video of the area that will be used later in the week," Taylor said. "We have not seen that occurring yet, but we will. And two hours on CBS on Saturday and Sunday (covering the tournament), that is name recognition.
"Usually we don't get calls that say, 'We watched the broadcast last week and now we are coming.' It doesn't work that way. However, that showcases us in a very good light."