Featured Press Releases

Use this library of press releases written by the Charleston Area CVB media relations department to mine for story ideas, stay abreast of what is new in the destination and learn about the special events that take place throughout the year.

For additional story ideas, we invite you to visit our blog at www.charlestonly.com.

Positive Impact of PGA Championship

For Immediate Release, August 2012


Considerable Economic Impact and Media Coverage Contribute to Banner August

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA (August 17, 2012) – When Kiawah Island Golf Resort was named host of the 2012 PGA Championship, local hospitality industry leaders predicted a positive impact on the region’s tourism economy. During the subsequent years of planning and preparation, the extent to which the state’s largest professional sporting event in more than a decade would augment visitor numbers was somewhat unknown; however, a clear measure of success has emerged in the five days since Championship play ended.

Compared to 2011, an estimated 10,400 more room nights were sold Charleston County during August 5 – 11, 2012, as a result of the 94th PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Hotels saw a 12.3% increase in occupancy (86.4% occupancy for 2012) and 30.9% increase in the average daily rate ($148.62 for 2012) compared to the same dates in 2011. Over the weekend, August 10 -12, 2012, hotel occupancy reached a high of 94.9% at an average daily rate of $170.86. These results do not include the impact of vacation home and villa rentals, which anecdotal information indicates were also extremely strong for the week.

“From the day the Ocean Course was named as host for 2012 PGA Championship to the moment Rory McIlroy made the winning putt,” says Roger Warren, President of Kiawah Island Golf Resort and immediate past Chairman of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, “the Charleston area was eager to quantify the positive impact of a Major on the local community and economy.”

According to Warren, the PGA Championship uptick exceeds straightforward occupancy statistics.

“We knew an infusion of visitors would enhance occupancy figures, but the long-term impact of hosting a global sporting event is a ripple effect that is just now beginning,” says Warren. “The more than 150 hours of television broadcast that introduced Kiawah Island's raw natural beauty to the world are indelible images that live on in the minds of many. Extending Charleston's warm, welcoming nature to guests from around the world is something we do well daily and continually focused on during the Championship. It is a sure bet we will reap the benefits in the form of an even stronger tourism and hospitality economy in the years to come.”

Kiawah Island and Isle of Palms sit at bookends when looking at the Charleston area on a map, with approximately 40 miles separating the two barrier island resorts; however, the PGA Championship’s positive effects were experienced region-wide according to Frank Fredericks, Managing Director of Wild Dunes Resort and Chairman of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“At Wild Dunes Resort, we experienced a 60% increase in golf rounds and a 30% increase in golf retail sales compared to the same week last year,” says Fredericks. “These were affluent golf travelers who came in groups of four and eight to attend the PGA Championship, play golf together on some of the area’s other award-winning courses and dine in some of our finest restaurants, such as Circa 1886, Hall’s Chophouse, Grill 225 and more.”

The 2012 PGA Championship attracted national and international journalists with more than 250 credentialed media representatives who generated real-time coverage for outlets including CBS, TNT, The New York Times, Forbes.com, Yahoo Sports, Fortune magazine, Golf, Golf Digest and USA Today, among many others. A sampling of positive coverage includes:

“The Ryder Cup put Kiawah Island on the map as a resort, and it has become a premier destination. Even non-golfers come to gawk at the scenic, alluring and mysterious Ocean Course. Tourists, especially European ones, routinely want to see where Langer missed his putt.”

— Bill Pennington for The New York Times, August 5, 2012

“It is so gorgeous they filmed the Matt Damon and Will Smith film The Legend of Bagger Vance here, and it does not hurt that it is part of one of the world’s greatest golf resorts, with five courses (90-holes!) by top designers, world-class clubhouses and facilities, plus the sumptuous Sanctuary, a Forbes 5-Star hotel rated Number One in the country by the highly critical Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report – with a 5-Star spa and 4-Star restaurant to boot.”

— Larry Olmstead for Forbes.com, August 8, 2012

Additionally, several well-known sports writers used Twitter to relay their impressions of the Charleston area.

". . . Charleston's a pretty good place to be headquartered." — Dan Jenkins, World Golf Hall of Fame member for his contributions to golf journalism for more than 60 years and Golf Digest contributor

“The Ocean Course is VISUALLY stunning. And you can hit a wedge from the 18th fairway into the ocean. Well, @BobHarig would need driver.” —Steve DiMeglio, USA Today

“Kiawah may be soaked and gusty today, but it's still beautiful... #PGAChamp” — David Dusek, Deputy Editor of Golf.com

“Five-star hospitality from you all at the Courtyard Waterfront during PGA Champ week!! Many thanks too for the flexible hours!” — Mark Lamport-Stokes, Reuters’ Global Golf Correspondent

“Cool touch for media covering PGA: Bartender at hotel brings in Civil War artifacts every night. A gun. Two cannon balls. He has beer, too.” — Ron Green, Charlotte Observer

The mission of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is to unify and lead the local travel industry in marketing the Charleston area as an individual, meeting, incentive and group destination to both the domestic and international markets. For more information, visit explorecharleston.com


For more information, contact the CVB Media Department at media@explorecharleston.com or (843) 853-8000.


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