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Ryder Cup had massive economic impact on Wisconsin

Postponed event helps local businesses continue pandemic recovery
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Posted at 6:20 AM, Sep 28, 2021

One year after it was originally supposed to take Wisconsin by storm, the 43rd Ryder Cup brought tens of thousands of tourists to the state for the biggest spectacle in golf.

In order to even host such a large capacity event, sites need to accommodate approximately 30,000 hotel rooms. Sheboygan County only had around 2,000 hotel rooms according to Amy Wilson, president and CEO of Visit Sheboygan.

"As far as Sheboygan County, the overwhelming majority of hotel rooms have been blocked for the last couple of years by the tournament staff, tournament contractors, and media from around the world. Many of the grounds contractors have been here for months building out vendor villages and other structures on the course," Wilson said in a statement.

Per Brad Toll, CEO of Discover Green Bay, the Ryder Cup projects more than $130 million of economic impact throughout eastern Wisconsin between Milwaukee and Green Bay. Toll noted that Green Bay restaurants noticed a push between 7-8 p.m. nightly as spectators and media members returned to their hotels from Whistling Straits.

Of the larger pie, Wilson and Visit Sheboygan "anticipate the economic impact for Sheboygan County to be about $30 million."

Thomas Nye, general manager and winemaker at The Blind Horse in Kohler, says that they served much more corporate clients than they anticipated.

"I've never seen the kind of money coming in to Sheboygan county like when they announced the Ryder Cup," Nye said. "We were fully booked last year. Every single night, every single room, all of our private space. And then when COVID hit, a lot of the European money did go away, but the American companies came right in and filled all of our private spaces, and we had a phenomenal week this year."