Plans for a United States Golf Association headquarters in Pinehurst are expected to come with a multi-million dollar influx of economic activity over the next 10 years along with a commitment to hold five U.S. Open Championships at Pinehurst No. 2 between 2024 and 2047.
Pinehurst’s Village Council has now approved an economic incentive package in support of Pinehurst Resort’s efforts to elevate the experience, for players and sponsors, of the U.S. Open Championships held there.
The resort is proposing to build a 36-room hotel just west of the Pinehurst Country Club, on the current site of two croquet lawns. That’s near the proposed location of the USGA’s second headquarters, where the resort now has six tennis courts and shuttle parking.
Pinehurst Resort President Tom Pashley told the Village Council that the hotel would function much as other resort properties throughout the year, but during the U.S. Open would be reserved for players and other VIPs.
“Pinehurst and the USGA believe this hotel could provide a unique experience to the overall championship for both players and potential hospitality partners,” said Pashley. “One of the main goals of the frequency of their return is to try to do things a little bit differently and begin to establish some facilities that provide a differentiation for a U.S. Open in Pinehurst. We want the players to think this is a really special U.S. Open and we think this facility could contribute to that.”
If the hotel plans move forward, the hotel is anticipated to be operational before the U.S. Open is next played in Pinehurst in 2024.
“I think that part of the USGA wanting to be here on a more frequent basis, which many of us are very excited about, is because there will be infrastructure here to accommodate players and the press and all kinds of things going forward,” said Pinehurst Village Councilwoman Judy Davis. “So I think we’ll have some growing pains going through this, but I think in the long term as we look back at this in five or 10 years we’ll recognize what an excellent contribution this is to the quality of life and it definitely underscores the history of golf and the history and importance of Pinehurst Resort.”
Pashley said that the potential new hotel is integral to the resort’s plans now that its course No. 2 has become the USGA’s first declared “anchor site” for the U.S. Open. Situated above the nine-hole Cradle short course, it would be the resort’s first hotel property with views of a golf course.
“Right now a lot of temporary facilities are set up wherever the USGA goes to provide these amenities for players and we’d like to find a way to begin to build some more permanent structures that are multi-use, that can be one thing during the seven days of the U.S. Open and the rest of the year it can provide an amenity for the resort.”
(Original story by Mary Kate Murphy, The Pilot)