Puyallup and Sumner businesses and community leaders are breathing a sigh of relief following the economic influx that the U.S. Open brought to Puyallup and Sumner. The Washington State Fairgrounds was selected by USGA officials as one of two off-site parking venues for fans to shuttle to Chambers Bay golf course in University Place.
While the U.S. Open coincided with Meeker Days in downtown Puyallup, it was difficult for Puyallup/Sumner Chamber officials to gauge who was there for Meeker Days and who was there as a result of the Open being in town.
“People tended to stay close to the mall or freeway entrances, so those restaurants did really well,” Chamber president Shelly Schlumpf said. “Crockett’s and Trackside Pizza both had waits, and Toscanos had over a two-hour wait on Saturday (June 20).”
Schlumpf and her staff from the Chamber had a welcome booth at Cattin’s Restaurant to help point visitors in the right direction of where to eat, shop and stay. The booth had visits from community members, council members and chamber board members. The Chamber partnered with the Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitor Bureau and Pierce County for volunteers to help staff the booth, and helped with a concierge program to assist visitors.
From June 15 to 18, Schlumpf had the booth manned from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m, and then from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 19 to 21. Schlumpf says the long hours at the booth did indeed pay off.
“It all exceeded my expectations for our community,” she said.
Now that the Open was held at Chambers Bay, many will possibly return to golf at the University Place course, and Schlumpf hopes that when they do, they will visit the Puyallup and Sumner restaurants and businesses they came to love during their stay.
With visitors from all over the world, Schlumpf and her team met folks from the U.K., Australia and other parts of the world.
“I’m really proud of my staff, the city, and of Sumner,” she said. “Our two communities did a great job of welcoming people from around the world.”