The Senior PGA brings financial benefits to Benton Harbor

Benton Harbor, Mich. -- The Senior PGA Tournament returns to Benton Harbor this upcoming weekend, but what local impacts has the event had so far?

Local business owners are finding that, despite the great financial impact, the problem of people using their lots as free tournament parking was just as pressing of an issue. 

Jaimie Cousins, the owner of The Mason Jar Café, says, “I think it does a little I know a couple of our days were a little bit slower than what they normally are and I think the parking kind of hinders us a little bit too,".

According to the Southwest Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Senior PGA tournament brings in around seven million dollars each time it runs.

On Friday the PGA pledged $150,000 in contributions to the YMCA and Curious Kids Museum. According to Arthur Havlicek, the President and CEO of the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber of Commerce, contributions like these are an often-overlooked aspect of the PGA. 

Arthur Havlicek, the President and CEO of the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber of Commerce says, “One of the things that folks may not realize is the PGA will give significant donations to local charitable causes. The PGA generously donated about one-hundred and fifty thousand dollars to local charities including the Curious Kids’ Museum and right in downtown St. Joe and the YMCA of Michiana.”

People come from all over the world to see former PGA golfers hit the course as well, with local volunteers from about a two-hour radius coming to the area to help out. The tournament brings many to the area to enjoy the local delicacies of Benton Harbor as well.

Local businesses like Ben's Pretzels and The Livery say they had local volunteers and other event-goers come to their restaurants to enjoy local offerings after a long day of hard work.

The tournament comes has come to Benton Harbor every other year for the past ten years, long before the Harbor Shores Golf Course was the PGA-level course it is now.

The Benton Harbor area welcomes it and looks forward to the millions it brings in.

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