Sheboygan Area Businesses Benefit From Ryder Cup Tourism

Ryder Cup event signage at The Blind Horse.

Last updated on September 24, 2021 at 3:51 p.m.

With approximately 45,000 spectators descending the Whistling Strait each day of the Ryder Cup this week, Sheboygan County bars and restaurants seek to capitalize on the event’s global appeal while making a lasting impression on first-time visitors.

“We expect to have the busiest week we have ever had,” said Tom Nye, Managing Director of The Blind Horse Restaurant & Winery to Kohler.

The property’s restaurant and two private event spaces were quickly booked almost two years ago, ahead of the originally scheduled 2020 Ryder Cup date. Some of those bookings were canceled when the event was rescheduled in due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but “we had no problem filling that space,” he said.

Initially, most of the group’s business during Ryder Cup week came from European companies. Now it is mostly American companies that organize dinners after a day of classes.

Nye expects the impact of the Ryder Cup on the region’s economy to be far greater than previous PGA events held at Whistling Straits, the most recent being the 2015 PGA Championship. The Ryder’s Global Reach Cup sets her apart, especially when it comes to the amount of money coming into the area. Organizers estimate that the event will have an economic impact of $ 135 million on the region.

Additionally, with Kohler Co.’s hotel properties being fully occupied by Ryder Cup golfers and PGA staff, most visitors have been forced to seek accommodation in other parts of the area.

In addition to its full restaurant and event space, the cellar’s expansive outdoor patio is also open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, offering live music, casual dining, and first-come, first-served seating. The expected increase in business follows a high volume summer for The Blind Horse. His patio was packed with more than 1,000 people almost every weekend, Nye said.

“We’re used to crowds, so whatever happens the way we look at things each night will be like a Saturday night,” he said.

Across town to 3 Sheep Brewing Co. in Sheboygan, everything is on the bridge.

“There are craft beer fans all over the world, and usually when a craft beer fan goes to a new town, they look for the local brewery, so we hope to have at least a group of people visiting. “said co-owner and founder Grant Pauly. “We’re ready to deal with them if they come in droves – we’ve tweaked our reception hall a bit and rearranged things for the week. “

Beyond craft beer-loving visitors who come for a flight of the brewery’s new Ryder Cup-themed beers, 3 Sheeps expects to draw a crowd of golf enthusiasts with an evening vigil of a week organized by Golf.com. Tuesday through Sunday, the media company takes over the 3 Sheep Game Room, with big-screen TVs showing the action, golf simulators and a live broadcast, and access to SubPar podcasts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz. A four-day pass for $ 100 gets you 10 pints of beer, American T-shirts and Golf True Spec driver mounting.

Pauly said Golf.com approached him about the partnership about six months ago. Previously, the brewery had responded to certain requests from groups interested in renting the tasting room for corporate and private events.

“We really didn’t want to do this because we wanted to interact directly with customers and do what a bar and craft brewery is like,” he said, adding that the event is meant to look like an exterior hatchback. where people can relax. and meet other locals and visitors.

Foot traffic at 3 Sheeps started to increase over the weekend, especially with international customers and hotel and Airbnb customers stocking up on craft beer for the week. And with a range of drinks on tap, from traditional lagers to hard seltzer, there’s something for every palate, Pauly said.

Local restaurateur Stefano Viglietti is in the middle of one of the busiest weeks for his four restaurants in downtown Sheboygan, He Ritrovo, Trattoria Stefano, From field to fork and Duke of Devon, which are largely booked for the week with large groups and a few buyouts, he said. Summer has already been busy, and to prepare for this week’s rush, restaurants are doing more of everything – baking more bread, roasting more coffee beans, making bigger batches of stew. Additional staff have also been recruited.

Viglietti said the Ryder Cup builds on Kohler’s worldwide reputation for golf, which draws travelers from around the world – and cultured diners – to Sheboygan year-round. The impact of this is long lasting.

“The week itself is great, but it’s really beyond that – or before that, when people come in and know the event is going to take place, then they want to play the course before. This has lasting effects which are very positive, ”said Viglietti.

For Destination Kohler, the hotel arm of Kohler Co., enjoying the Ryder Cup means developing customers who will one day come back to stay at its hotels, play golf on its course, and dine in its restaurants. One way he plans to introduce visitors to the surrounding community is by hosting a free Ryder Cup Eve party, which will take place Wednesday through Sunday at stores in Woodlake. Global Water Center exhibition, which aims to educate visitors on critical water issues around the world.

“We take great pride in our properties, our associates and the way we treat guests,” said Betsy Froelich, Director of Marketing – Kohler Hospitality & Real Estate. “We hope people will come and see our love of history and tradition and bring things like golf majors to Wisconsin… the last Ryder Cup was in Paris, then you come to Kohler Wisconsin and then it goes to Rome . We are really proud to step onto a stage with cities like this.

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