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Businesses are golf ready



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From left, Little Monsters Owners Leila Freijy and Christine McKenna sit by their homemade art display, meant to show off the golf event that will soon visit Lake Orion. Photo by G. Ouzounian (click for larger version)
July 11, 2012 - The influx of visiting golf enthusiasts will not go unnoticed in Lake Orion - speculation based on last year's Senior Open put daily numbers in the 40,000 range.

And the businesses of the Orion Area Chamber of Commerce (OACC) are ready for the spike.

"I think the biggest thing is the shear volume of people that will be coming here," said OACC Executive Director Alaina Campbell. "It's an opportunity to showcase our community and I think in particular to business owners who could possible in the future move a business here. A lot of people that watch the Senior Open are obviously business owners and we get the chance to showcase our assets like our lakes, our parks, our government and our fabulous community and schools. It's a place people want to live because of our amenities and we really do have some amazing facilities."

Campbell said the current feeling from the business owners is excitement at the benefits they will encounter once the tournament truly begins. Hotels and restaurants are expected to do well, though everything from breakfast, snacks, the odd case of beet, bottled water and more will likely be needed by visitors that are staying in town. More opportunities from from frequent problems like broken-down cars. Yet some of these places can be difficult to find, especially for the out-of-towners.

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So the OACC developed a map to show visitors the best places in town.

It's marketing our community," said Campbell. "(Lake Orion Downtown Development Authority Director Suzanne Perreault) and I have visited every hotel down on opdyke and our two here in Lake Orion. A couple are already sold out while others had no clue about the event. We dropped off about 2,500 pamphlets and maps at these hotel and most were thrilled to have them.

"They always get asked 'where do we go to eat or do this or that' so it helps them a lot."

The two distributed the maps showing Orion businesses as far as Birmingham.

One top of the map, an updated downtown shopping guide is once again making its rounds. Perreault said the DDA is doing everything is can to make the downtown an appealing place to stop while in town to see the golf.

"We purchased an add on the OACC map so it is clear where the downtown is," she said. "We have banners saying 'welcome golf fans' outside the downtown. We're coordinating the mini-golf event which we prepared last year and so far everyone is pretty excited.

"Keith Aldridge has been very good to us. He's trying to find ways to tie the event to the downtown, where everyone is continuing to find the golf theme. It's been a number of years since the last big open and there are a lot of new people in the downtown area - it will be interesting to see how much extra foot traffic we get. We're as prepared as we can get."

For more information on the 2012 Senior Open, go to iwgcc.com.

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