John Deere Classic pumps millions into local economy

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MOLINE, Ill.— Traffic represents the sound of money on John Deere Road during the days of the John Deere Classic.  That’s because the PGA tournament triggers an estimated $25 million for the Quad Cities economy each year.

It’s a sign of the times at WaterPark Car Wash. That’s where it reads, “Putter here ‘fore you go to the John Deere Classic.”

Not far away, golfers of a different sort are getting into the swing.  River Valley Golf is getting a surge of spectators and players ready for a round of miniature golf.

“The PGA Tour really does bring a lot of customers to all the businesses around here,” said Emily Kauzlarich of River Valley Golf,  “It’s a good thing, and it’s a good thing for Moline.”

Whether visitors are spending the night or just passing through, they’re spending money in the Quad Cities.

“The fact that we have a thriving PGA event is something we should celebrate here in the Quad Cities,” said Joe Taylor from the Quad City Convention and Visitors Bureau.

It is also a cause for celebration for hotels in downtown Moline.  Places like Stoney Creek Inn and the Radisson sell out quickly each year.

What’s good for business is even better for the community.

“With John Deere corporate and the JDC, I think it brings a lot of attention to our area,” said Barbara Weiskopf, director of sales and marketing for the Radisson.  “We would like to keep them coming back.”

Coming back to restaurants and shops all over the Quad Cities such as WaterMark Corners, which has a special connection to the Classic.

“We have a couple of favorite golf wives that come and visit us,” said Barb Trimble, WaterMark Corners owner.  “We always then follow their husbands and hope they make the cut.”

Returning to River Valley Golf, it’s like sinking a good putt each year.

“Feel free to come down and play any time they need or want a break from the tour,” Kauzlarich concluded.  “Come relax here and have fun.”

Fun that’s also making money for the Quad Cities.