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Golf Tourney Should Be Approached Correct Way

There will not be a Web.com golf tournament held in Chautauqua County this summer.

It’s unfortunate, but frankly, it’s not the end of the world.

County officials have spent months trying to find a sponsor for the tournament but were unable to find one able to make a multi-year commitment after Erie-based LECOM chose not to renew its contract.

Having the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency as the organizing entity for the tournament was always a bad fit, particularly when the IDA added a staff position with a stated purpose of organizing the Web.com tournament and the Gran Fondo bicycle race event. There are loads of business development needs in Chautauqua County that organizing special events should never enter into the IDA’s purview.

County officials can always choose to support bringing a professional golf tournament back to Peek’n Peak without spending county employees’ time organizing it. Occupancy tax grants are available and the county can certainly help with some in-kind services if it so chooses. We’re encouraged to hear Mark Geise, county deputy executive for economic development and IDA CEO, say taking the lead role on the tournament is not one of the IDA’s missions.

We couldn’t agree more.

There are entities in the county that are more than able to take that work on, such as the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau.

It would be nice to see the tournament return to Chautauqua County. The tournament showcased one of Chautauqua County’s beautiful attractions and provided a major event that could draw visitors from Pennsylvania, perhaps Ohio, and from Chautauqua Institution and the Jamestown area. There is certainly a benefit to hosting professional golf if hosting the tournament is approached the right way.

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