Opens Success Translates To More Dollars For Tyler

The Texas State Open's rookie year in Tyler has been nothing short of a roaring success.

"The 36th Texas State Open has exceeded our expectations from the support of the city of Tyler, to the Chamber of Commerce and of the golf course," said Northern Texas PGA Executive Director Darrell Crall.

Happy golfers and sports fans mean more revenue for the city. Tyler will be home to the Open for three years, and it is expected to have a $2 million impact over that time.

"They're staying in hotels, they are eating in restaurants, they're buying souvenirs and other things that they might need while they are here," said Tom Mullins, President and CEO of the Tyler Chamber of Commerce.

That translates into cash to help the city continue to grow.

"When those businesses do well," Tom said, "the entire community does well."

The big draw, the revamped Cascades golf course, transformed from the older Briarwood course, to what many are calling one of the best in the south.

"It's really good," said pro-golfer Brent Akins from Longview. "I played here in high school when it was Briarwood and they've done a lot of great things with this course. I mean it is really, really outstanding."

"This is the type of facility the PGA tour plays," Crall said.

The big picture extends beyond the golf course toward more tourism and visitor revenue and larger sporting events.

"This event is probably the biggest event the city of Tyler is able to handle with the size of our airport and infrastructure," said Steve Braley, President of The Cascades Properties. "We know that's going to change, so we are taking the first step towards even bigger events in the future."

As for the Texas State Open's three year commitment to Tyler, officials said with a job so well done, they could be here to stay.

"It's certainly in our interest to remain in Tyler as long as possible," Darrell Crall said.