RALEIGH - North Carolina will welcome thousands of golf fans next month as the
Pinehurst Resort hosts the U.S. Open and theU.S. Women's Open
Championships the weeks of June 9 and 16. The N.C. Departments of Commerce,
Cultural Resources and Transportation are using these major sporting events to
showcase the state to visitors from around the world.
To celebrate the tournaments and help golf fans find their way to
Pinehurst, crews are installing special directional signs at Charlotte Douglas
International Airport, Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTI) in Greensboro
and Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), where many out-of-state
visitors will fly in.
The unique 16 by 4 foot signs stand above an artificial turf base
designed to look like putting greens. They will point travelers towards
Pinehurst, where the U.S. Opens will take place on the famed No. 2 course. Vibrant
plants and mulch will surround the greens to enhance their appeal.
Sign installation began this week at Charlotte Douglas, started today
at RDU, and at PTI this weekend.
"I want to thank our team and industry partners for their hard work
and collaboration across multiple departments to prepare for the U.S. Open, an
international event that will bring many benefits and opportunities to North
Carolina," Transportation Secretary Tony Tata said. "These signs will guide
visitors to Pinehurst for the tournaments, and will help promote tourism
throughout the state in the years to come."
The state will continue using the signs for marketing purposes after
the U.S. Opens.
"This joint, creative effort is a part of the Governor's Art
that Moves You initiative, a project to improve infrastructures and
landscapes throughout North Carolina for the benefit of our great state," said
Secretary Susan Kluttz of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. "This is
also an excellent example of the public sector partnering with private
entities. We are grateful for the support of the USGA and North Carolina's
three major airports to make this happen."
This year marks the first time in U.S. Open history that the
championships have been held at the same course in consecutive weeks. The
Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
estimates 350,000 people will attend the tournaments over the 14-day period. In
addition, a world-wide television audience of more than 100 million people in
180 countries is expected to watch the events.
"This is the perfect time to showcase all that North Carolina has to
offer, while at the same time recruit new and existing business to our great
state," said Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker. Following the tournaments, sign
locations will highlight North Carolina's brand as we market the state to
business and visitors."
The championships are expected to generate $140-$170 million in
economic impact in Moore County and the surrounding areas, according to the
United States Golf Association, which runs the U.S. Open Championships.