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Preparations Swing into Action to Welcome U.S. Open Fans to North Carolina

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.

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2/15/2018 5:23 PM