Local businesses feel impact of fans not coming to WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational

Local businesses feel impact of fans not coming to WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In any other year, a city hosting a World Golf Classic featuring some of the top 50 golfers in the world would reap huge financial benefits.

Take last year’s FedEx St. Jude Invitational for example. With thousands of visitors expected, the economic impact was projected at $30 million.

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It’s 2020, though, and life has changed thanks to COVID-19.

Local business owners like Shawn Danko from Kooky Canuck are feeling the hit.  

“We’re used to adjusting very rapidly,” Danko said. “Obviously we were expecting it and now that we’re not having the fans in town as a result most people have made adjustments to their schedules pretty quickly.”

TPC Southwind hosted a record number of people in 2019. So naturally, restaurants located off Winchester and Hacks Cross were popular choices. This in addition to hotels.

Despite being downtown, Danko said businesses all over the city felt a positive impact from the overflow of visitors.

“So we’re all feeling the impact,” he said. “Everybody feels the impact from out east to downtown. Hotels, restaurants and attractions.”

The energy at TPC Southwind and local businesses is subdued compared to past years. 

So, what about a return to a vibrant golf classic overflow of customers in 2021?

“No, I’m probably not confident but am I hopeful? Yes, I’m hopeful,” Danko said. “We’re all hopeful to get back to the degree of normalcy that we saw last year and up until COVID. So yeah, we hope it gets back to that.”