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Did Vernon businesses benefit from PGA event?

By Dave Dellecese

VERNON - Businesses in Vernon were told to expect as many as 100,000 for last week's PGA event, with a turnout of roughly 35,000.

What impact did the tournament have on business?

Officials from Vernon Downs who hoped to attract large numbers of golf fans, say they saw more business at last years event.

"We're surmising that a lot of people came on one day trips," said Doug Tudman, Marketing Director for Vernon Downs.

Tudman expects more visitors during future golf events, to get them Vernon Downs is changing its strategy.

"We'll definitely have plans to...I think work with the other restaurants and facilities to do an overall package, that's just one of the ideas that came up today," Tudman said.

Officials from Vernon Downs saw only about a 20% increase in business over an average week. It was not exactly what they wanted, but another business near by found exactly what it was looking for.

"Oh, it was phenomenal, just fantastic we had a lot of wonderful people coming into the area," said Mark Klossner of Joel's Front Yard Steakhouse.

Charlotte's Creekside Inn expected a bigger turnout, and the restaurant overstaffed and set up a full sized tent to accommodate extra guests.

"It really didn't come to that," said Joey Fiato of the Inn. "But it was a big thing for us, we'd never had a tent on our property, so it was nice to see it unfold."

Overall, the Creekside Inn had a solid week, but like the Downs, Steakhouse and other businesses, the expectations for next year will be even higher.

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