The Senior PGA Championship brought thousands of spectators and 156 golfers from around the world to Benton Harbor, but some business owners are disappointed by the lack of foot traffic into their stores and restaurants.
About 6 weeks ago, city leaders told WSBT they expected 12 to 15,000 spectators each day of the tournament. The PGA doesn’t release official numbers, but the tournament director said they saw somewhere between 8 and 12 thousand people each day.
“It was very, very busy,” said Senior PGA Championship Director Jeff Hintz. “Busy enough that we had to add to our trolley system, our tram system that we had moving people around the golf course.”
But many business owners told WSBT they saw less of that success than expected.
“I was hoping it would be a little better,” said Linda Sprague, owner of State Street Antiques.
“It wasn’t near what we expected, but compared to this week last year, [it was] about the same and we didn't have the PGA last year,” added Charlie McGee, owner of Piggin’ N’ Grinnin’ Barbecue in Benton Harbor’s Arts District.