Re: “Chambers still in the hole” (TNT, 2-18).
Chambers Bay golf course was not designed to be just another course but a tournament and tourist economic development attraction. Yet, every year The News Tribune does a budget-revenue analysis without any consideration of the course’s real goals.
Ironically, you publish a photograph of a golfer from Chicago on the course. Someone might have asked that golfer what hotel he stayed in, where he ate his meals, if he rented a car.
A real analysis of the success of Chambers Bay would be to find out how much sales tax, car rental tax and hotel tax was paid by the thousands of out-of-town visitors the course attracts every year. Our hotel, restaurants and businesses profit from the extra tourism. University Place alone makes tens of thousands of dollars a year on admissions tax, but that was ignored.
In 2015, the U.S. Open golf tournament comes to Chambers Bay. Conservative estimates of its economic impact are in the range of $140 million. By the way, that impact alone is seven times what the course cost. By any honest economic analysis, the course is a huge success.
(Ladenburg, a former Pierce County executive, was a prime mover behind the Chambers Bay golf course.)