BOISE -- It is one of the premiere events in this community, the 24th annual Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft. Thursday, it teed off, bringing with it some great golfers and millions of dollars in economic impact.
The Open's impact begins with the hundreds of people from outside the state and country it brings to Hillcrest Country Club.
"These pros come in all from out of town and spend a full seven days," says Jeff Sanders, Executive Director of the Albertsons Boise Open. "Caddies come as well. I think the Golf Channel has 60 or 70 people for the week. All the sponsors for the most part are from out of town."
And all those visitors spend plenty of money while they're here, visitors like Kathy Leonard and Irma Smith, from Palm Springs.
"We've been downtown shopping, and we loved it," said Leonard. "We went to dinner last night and had a great dinner. We're very impressed."
Smith's son, Byron, is playing in the Open. She says they pick and choose what tournaments to travel to, and Boise made the cut. "Because if he doesn't do well, at least we can enjoy the rest of our time here," said Smith. "But so far, it's wonderful. Boise, we love it here."
"Somewhere in that five to eight million dollars a year range is what the economic impact is estimated to be for the city," said Sanders. "Hotel rooms, restaurants, rental cars, cab fares..."
And that's not where the multi-million dollar impact ends. The Golf Channel is carrying the tournament live all four days to a worldwide audience with numerous shots of the best spots in the City of Trees and commercials from the state and city's tourism agencies. A spokesperson for the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau says it's equal to tens of millions of dollars in advertising for the area.
Sanders agrees. "At the end of the day, I know it's not a cheap date to buy the Golf Channel, because Albertsons has to invest in that. It's expensive, but it's worth it because it does drive eyeballs to the community here, which is what we want."
Another big impact of the Boise Open is felt by local charities. About $14 million have been given to local charities over the history of the tournament.