Marana Mayor Ed Honea has written letters of gratitude to several key people with the World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play Championship, the international golf tournament played last month at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain.
In a letter to Page Thompson, the Orlando-based president of the Golf Channel, Honea praised the network's coverage of the golf tournament … and in particular its attribution to Marana as the host community.
"Your network did a fantastic job capturing the beauty of the Sonoran Desert and showing it to viewers around the world, spotlighting our community in a way that only millions of dollars could buy," Honea wrote. "We also appreciate that your on-air talent made continual reference to the fact that the event is played in Marana, as it has been since 2007."
The mayor said "other media outlets, both electronic and print, have fallen into the habit of saying the match play is in Tucson.
"While Marana is part of the Greater Tucson community, we are our own town of almost 34,500 residents and we appreciate when someone makes the effort to get that right," Honea continued.
The mayor also expressed thanks on behalf of the town council, town residents and businesses to William D. Green, chairman and chief executive officer of Accenture based in Chicago.
"The attention that the Town receives during tournament week can't be overstated," Honea said. "Television networks and print and online media sources give Marana worldwide attention for seven days. … That kind of exposure would be impossible for our Town to purchase."
Honea mentioned the tournament's revenue generation for area charities, and the town's commitment to the tournament.
"Town employees put in many hours to ensure that the event goes smoothly," he wrote. "We are pleased to be the host community and, with the addition of the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, we believe this is the perfect location for this prestigious event. We look forward to having the Accenture Match Play in Marana again next year. Your company's generous support makes this tremendous event a reality."
Town identifying what it spends on Match Play tourney
A citizen at last week's budget open house in Heritage Highlands wondered what the Town of Marana does with all the money it makes off the World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play Championship.
In fact, town government spends money when the world of professional golf descends on the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, Mayor Ed Honea said.
"We love it, it's great publicity, but the Town of Marana does not make money on the golf tournament," Honea said. "We lose money."
The town incurs expenses for policing, to include advanced traffic planning; preparation of parking areas, inspections of facilities and more, Town Manager Gilbert Davidson said.
Davidson is assembling a complete rundown of costs. Then, Davidson hopes to propose a memorandum of understanding with the Professional Golfers Association regarding a division of responsibilities.
"They need to cover player and visitor security," Davidson said in an interview last week. "They have to pay for that. We will make sure people can get there."
While the mayor and town manager are thrilled the international tournament has been played in Marana for four years, they point out it does not directly generate sales tax revenue for the town.
"The PGA will not let us tax any products they sell at this event," Honea said.
"Nothing's taxed," Davidson agreed. With this year's opening of the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Hotel and Resort, "the only thing we're getting this year is some bed tax."