Letters to the Editor

Economics should guide decisions on Heritage

Now that the last putt has dropped, it is time to analyze the cost-benefit effects of the Heritage golf tournament.

Is this Hilton Head Island "tradition" really worth its cost without a major commercial sponsor? Or are we blinded by the local "tradition" of this anticipated event?

Yes, we get national exposure in the golfing community, but maybe we can buy a lot of focused advertising for $1 million-plus, with a wider target market to encourage activity in all of Beaufort County at our less busy tourism times of the year.

Here are my questions for a third-party evaluation of the true impact:

  • Why hasn't any major sponsor picked up this event?
  • Why do some of the past great and future great golfers pass up this event?
  • How much bleed-off do we get now that Savannah has the Legends of Golf event?
  • What day-in, day-out Hilton Head attractions, cultural events, historic sites or museums are not going to get funded at the expense of this week in spring?
  • How many overnight or day-trip guests can be attributed solely to the golf event? Don't just ask, "Where are you from?" Also ask, "What did you come here for?"
  • I hope the Heritage tradition can continue. We all want this event, but it must remain because it provides unique guests that incrementally add to the accommodations and hospitality tax coffers, not just because we can't let go of a beloved tradition.

    Jeff Thomas