Two years ago, Puyallup/Sumner Chamber Executive Director Shelly Schlumpf attended at the U.S. Open at the Merion Golf Club near Philadelphia to prepare for the 2015 Open near her own community.
While attending the 2013 event, Schlumpf felt business owners and chambers in the local communities around Philadelphia and where she was staying left a lot on the table when it came to opportunities to entice visitors.
“When we got there, we counted 24 different states represented on license plates,” she said of cars at the event parking areas. “People drove from the West Coast out there, (and) it gave us a really good feel for what was to come to our community.”
But, when Schlumpf and other local officials arrived to King of Prussia, a community near the 2013 Open, they were handed a 5 x 7 sheet of paper with 30 or so restaurant names listed, but no other information.
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“We didn’t know if it was a bar or a sports bar or a restaurant,” she said. “I thought, wow, this is such a wasted opportunity.”
Not wanting to lose the opportunity the for economic growth the Open would provide to her own community, Schlumpf thought an app would help visitors to Puyallup and Sumner easily find restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and more while visiting for the event.
Schlumph set out on a five to six-month journey to develop an app that would cater to visitor’s palates after returning to the parking lot at the Fairgrounds from a long day watching golf.
“We made it very detail specific,” she said. “I want every restaurant to benefit from this.”
Not only will the app help members of the Puyallup/Sumner Chamber until the end of the U.S. Open, it will include non-members on its list of establishments. Once the Open ends only chamber members will be featured on the app.
To make it even easier for visitors, Schlumpf arranged for shuttles to transport visitors from the Fair parking lots on three different dining routes, essentially delivering patrons directly to restaurants’ front doors. There is a downtown route, an East Main route and a South Hill Mall route. Visitors will be able to board the shuttles near the information booth to visit local restaurants and enjoy a meal before driving home.
During a meeting last week with area restaurant managers, Schlumpf also led a discussion on restaurants sharing wait-time information among each other during the expected dinner rush, allowing Open visitors to change plans and board another chamber shuttle if they choose.
The app is available for both Android and iPhone users. To find it, search “Puyallup Sumner dining.”