Marana stands to reap benefits from tourney - The Explorer: Accenture

Marana stands to reap benefits from tourney

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Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 12:00 am | Updated: 1:22 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

Marana’s new Steak Out Restaurant and Saloon opened Monday, just in time for the World Golf Championships Accenture Match Play Tournament.

Sporting wagon wheels, rusted metal and leather saddles, the restaurant at the intersection of West Tangerine and North Thornydale roads aims to appeal to crowds of tourists who show up for the big event.

“I hope we get Tiger Woods here,” said Michael Wystrach Sr., the owner of the restaurant in Sonoita with the same name. “I have a fantastic photograph I would like him to autograph.”

The whole town of Marana stands to benefit from the tournament at Dove Mountain, which will air for 28 hours on television in more than 180 countries. The tournament is in its third year of a four-year contract; the 2010 match play event is already booked for Feb. 15-21 at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain.

“The first four years we have viewed as proving ourselves to be a good partner and making sure it comes off without hitches,” Town Manager Gilbert Davidson said. “Once we have the Ritz-Carlton in operation and the town has an economic roadmap for the future, we will be in a good place to meet companies and tell them what we have to offer.”

Immediate effects of the championship should include increased business for the hospitality industry, said Wade Dunagan, the executive director of the PGA tourney. Although economic impact studies have yet to be completed, Dunagan said, “there are thousands of people who come into town, stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants and shop into our stores.”

Not only do crowds show up in Marana for the tournament itself, Dunagan said, some people visit the area long after the tournament has passed to claim a connection to the event, which attracts 35 million television viewers each year.

“One thing that happens is that there is a trickle down from people who want to see where it was played,” he said.

Marana Mayor Ed Honea pointed out that Marana’s mild winters and beautiful mountain backdrops give the town a good image on television in February.

“When people are six feet deep in show and freezing to death, they’re going to see us in light shirts with beautiful mountains in the background,” Honea said. “I think it’s just good advertising for not only Marana but the entire region.”

Honea pointed out that CEOs of large companies attend the championship. Some, he said, might leave Marana with a desire to bring their companies to the area. Others might leave wanting to book a future stay at the Ritz-Carlton resort.

“I think we’re going to see lots of these corporate players who come here for the tournament say ‘that’s a great place to take boards or stockholders for a winter retreat,’” he said.

The championship brings charity dollars to Southern Arizona through the Tucson Conquistadores, a volunteer organization that benefits youth sports organizations specializing in disadvantaged or handicapped youth.

“We’re hoping to raise in excess of a million dollars this year for them,” Dunagan said.

Marana Town Councilwoman Carol McGorray thinks this year’s tournament will top the previous three in ticket sales. An avid golfer, McGorray has played the new Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course and was impressed by its spectator-friendly design. The fact that Marana has such an impressive feature, she said, is evidence that the town is moving forward.

“We’re growing up,” she said. “We’re reaching a new plateau.”

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


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