Letters to the Editor

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CHAMBERS BAY: It’s about more than golf

Letter by John Ladenburg, Tacoma on Feb. 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm | 5 Comments »
February 23, 2012 9:25 am

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.)

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