Pinehurst Area Makes Pitch for Golf Businesses to Relocate to NC
Golf Leaders Inside the Home of American Golf Tout Business Advantages in Moore County
Golf business leaders in the Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen area of North Carolina are teeing up an aggressive pitch for other golf companies domestically and internationally to consider relocating in their part of the country. Partners in Progress, the economic development arm for Moore County (NC), recently produced a video that included golf business leaders from the Pinehurst area and plan to share it at the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, FL. The goal is to draw interest from existing or new golf-related businesses wishing to inquire about what it would take to relocate or start a venture in the Pinehurst area. The vision is to create a golf cluster business community on the East Coast, similar to what happened in Carlsbad, CA.
“There’s something unique going on here in Pinehurst. There’s a tremendous opportunity to tap into the world of golf. There are a surprising number of golf companies and golf thought leaders based here in Pinehurst,” says Jamie Ledford, president of Golf Pride, a division of Eaton Corporation. “Golf Pride made a decision to build our design and development center in Pinehurst and we have a huge opportunity to test new golf concepts with golfers from around the world right here in Pinehurst. It’s a great spot for us.”
The 36,000-square-foot Golf Pride Global Innovation Center opened in 2019 and is located next to the Tom Fazio-designed and highly acclaimed Pinehurst No. 8 golf course. The company looked at several sites, but chose Pinehurst Resort because of the prime location and brand partnership as well. The new facility will allow Golf Pride to test new products out of its rapid prototyping lab quickly with a steady stream of golfers visiting Pinehurst from around the world on a daily basis.
Aside from Golf Pride, the United States Golf Association (USGA), U.S. Kids Golf and the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA) have moved portions or their entire headquarters, to the area in recent years. The U.S. Kids Golf Academy is located at Longleaf Golf & Family Club in Southern Pines and annually hosts, along with more than a dozen area golf courses, the U.S. Kids Teen and U.S. Kids World Golf Championships each August. Those combined events account for more than $9 million dollars in economic impact each year, according to the Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. More than 2,000 junior golfers from round the world descend upon the destination to compete in those U.S. Kids Golf events.
“Pinehurst is the perfect community because of its world-wide reputation in golf and because of the world-class excellence here,” says Dan Van Horn, founder and president, U.S. Kids Golf. “If you get the idea that by coming here you’re going to get deep into the weeds of what makes golf tick in the Pinehurst area, you’ve come to the right place. This is a great place to live and work.”
“When you look at the companies who are here with Golf Pride, the USGA, U.S. Kids Golf and the CGA, they all have a big presence here,” remarked Tom Pashley, president of Pinehurst Resort. “They are all companies that when you think about it, it makes perfect sense that they’re here. It makes perfect sense for golf companies to come and be a part of Pinehurst. I can’t wait to see who that is.”
The pitch to golf businesses relies on the globally recognized name of Pinehurst, but the intent is to showcase all of Moore County as potential locations. The video features leaders in the local golf industry including Ledford, Pashley, Van Horn, Kelly Miller, the president of Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club and Pat Corso, executive director of Partners in Progress (PIP).
“For the right company, the right group and the right ideas, our area is perfect for relocation or to build a new business,” said Corso. “What we have put together is a strong attempt to create change and draw like-type companies to the Pinehurst area.”
The Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen area is strategically located on the East Coast with major international airports in Raleigh and Charlotte, 60 and 90 miles away, respectively. The state of North Carolina offers state and local incentives for qualified companies, and according to a 2018 article in Forbes magazine, North Carolina is ranked as the “Best State for Business” in America. The golf leaders in the Pinehurst area believe those are all excellent reasons for other companies to investigate how those economic factors can be an attractive blend for new golf businesses or relocation of existing ones.
Moore County Partners in Progress
Moore County Partners in Progress (PIP) is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit economic development organization serving all of Moore County, North Carolina. PIP is a public/private partnership whose mission is to increase economic prosperity and improve the quality of life for residents through economic development initiatives that create quality jobs, generate capital investment, and increase the tax base in all of Moore County’s communities. Visit moorecountyedp.org.
The Pinehurst Southern Pines Aberdeen Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the economic development agency responsible for travel and tourism promotion, product development, and visitor services for Moore County, NC. The CVB devises strategies to enhance the County’s tourism brand value and product to accommodate the next generation of visitors, thereby stimulating the local economy and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. In 2018, Moore County ranked as the eleventh largest tourism economy in North Carolina, generating $520 million annually in visitor spending, which supports the second largest employment sector in the county.
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