2014 U.S. Open: Governor McCrory putts it out there for North Carolina

PINEHURST, N.C. – In 85-plus degree heat, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and members of his cabinet stood in Tufts Park to kick off the 2014 U.S. Open on Monday with the intent of not only promoting the event but with anticipation of increasing the state’s revenue and future business development.

At first wearing a suit without a tie, the Governor eventually shed his jacket after making his initial remarks and allowed the secretaries for environment and natural resources, cultural resources, commerce, and transportation highlight how those departments worked together in advance of the USGA championship events .

“Pinehurst No. 2, one of the greatest golf courses in the world and one of my favorites will be making history as it becomes the first golf course to host both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open in back-to-back weeks,” McCrory said.

“Not only will these two events put North Carolina on the world stage, it will have a tremendous economic impact on the region and across the state.”

The governor cited estimates from the USGA that the two U.S. Open Championships would bring a total of more than 400,000 people to Pinehurst, with daily attendance expected to exceed 50,000.

With that much increased traffic to the area, McCrory pointed out that the estimated increased revenue both tournaments could generate statewide was as high as $169 million dollars.

“One thing about all these people when they come to Pinehurst for the championships, they’re also gonna’ spend money,” he said.

“That’s money being spent on hotels, food, drinks, shopping, golf, transportation, and other attractions in this beautiful region.”

With that in mind, secretaries John Skvarla, Tony Tata, Susan Kluttz, and Sharon Decker all spoke to the work that each of their departments had put towards enhancing the experience for visitors and spectators as well as businesses who may want to look to eventually operate in the state.

“Great news today all the way around,” Decker said.

“Governor, I appreciate your focusing us as a team on the U.S. Open because this is important for all of North Carolina, regardless of our individual effort – together we really want to focus on making this a successful event.

“Today, tomorrow, and the rest of this week and next week, we have the opportunity to capture the imagination of companies that are already in this state that have the opportunity to grow and companies that don’t yet reside in North Carolina that have the opportunity to come here.”

Putting out an open invitation to businesses of all sizes, Decker stated that the championships would highlight “North Carolina at its best” for such businesses to think about moving to and growing in the state.

It was the prime opportunity to execute the State’s brand and identity.

“This is our time to celebrate all that is North Carolina and we will continue this brand formation over the summer months. Over the coming months, there will be multiple opportunities to see this brand story.”

With very few questions following the remainder of his team’s presentation, McCrory took up a putting challenge posed to him by one media member and finished his promotional work to kick off the U.S. Open in fitting fashion – by holing out a 12-footer.

Of course, it came following a few practice stroke attempts beforehand.

Nonetheless, the Governor capped it off with a fist pump that Payne Stewart would be proud of.