Daly City anticipates boon with LPGA’s Swinging Skirts tournament 

click to enlarge Lydia Ko
  • Eric Risberg/AP
  • Lydia Ko of New Zealand swings at Daly City’s Lake Merced Golf Club during a media event last month for the Swinging Skirts LPGA event. The city is hoping for good publicity — if only event materials would stop saying the event is in San Francisco.
Daly City officials expect the city to get a boost to its economy and image when the Swinging Skirts Ladies Professional Golf Association Classic comes to the Lake Merced Golf Club later this week.

Although the economic benefits will be tangible, the amount of publicity the town will receive in connection with the multiday competition is unclear.

LPGA Tournament Director Jon-Paul Genet said his organization had just five months to plan the event, but during that time, he’s forged local connections that may result in sponsorship deals that could bring additional LPGA tournaments to Daly City. One local business that expects to reap financial benefits from the tour’s presence is the Hampton Inn on Junipero Serra Boulevard, which has had about 70 percent of its room inventory reserved by the LPGA, and Swinging Skirts attendees will likely rent most of the remaining available rooms, Genet said.

Hampton Inn management did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The tournament, which is projected to bring between 40,000 to 70,000 spectators to Daly City, should also be a boon to local restaurants, Genet said. BurgerMeister CEO Paul Mogannam said he expects his gourmet hamburger restaurant in the Westlake Shopping Center to see a significant uptick in business during the four-day sporting event. He said the restaurant saw an additional 10-15 percent in sales when the PGA’s U.S. Open came to the nearby Olympic Club in 2012.

“Anything over a 10 percent increase would be very welcome,” Mogannam said.

A manager at the Boulevard Café on John Daly Boulevard said her restaurant also enjoyed a 15 percent sales spike during the U.S. Open.

Although situated farther away from the Lake Merced Golf Club than BurgerMeister or the Boulevard Café, the Elephant Bar at Serramonte Shopping Center is another restaurant hopeful for an increase in profits. Executive general manager Xavier Bejinez said he’s hired six additional restaurant employees to handle the anticipated extra business.

Restaurants aren’t the only operations at Serramonte that stand to benefit. Employees of the newly opened Dick’s Sporting Goods are preparing for additional business, though Dick’s representatives did not respond to requests for comments.

Serramonte’s director of retail operations, Rick Forster, did not comment on projected revenue increases, but said he appreciates the fact that LPGA organizers recognized the mall’s ability to serve the event’s participants.

Mayor David Canepa said he looks forward to the Golf Channel’s coverage of the tournament, which will help give national exposure to the community.

However, the LPGA’s website advertises Swinging Skirts as a San Francisco — not Daly City — event, and the Golf Channel did not respond to a request for clarification regarding whether it planned to describe the event as taking place in San Francisco or Daly City.

Daly City-Colma Chamber of Commerce President Georgette Sarles was chagrined to learn Daly City didn’t figure more prominently on the LPGA website. She said many of the competition’s vendors and volunteers are supporting the tournament because they believe it will build name recognition for Daly City.

Canepa said regardless of how much publicity the town winds up getting, it will definitely benefit it in a variety of ways. “Ultimately, as long as Daly City businesses are getting the revenues, I’m happy,” Canepa said.

Swinging Skirts will be held in Daly City on April 24-27. For more information, visit the Swinging Skirts website.

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