February 4, 2021
The Nexsen Pruet law firm, Sanford Holshouser Economic Development Consulting, and NP Strategy were honored to be a part of the team effort that brought USGA facilities to Pinehurst, North Carolina, plus a series of five US Open championships over the next 30 years to the Pinehurst Resort. These three groups were partners in representing the USGA and the Pinehurst Resort in this effort.
As announced in September, 2020, the USGA will establish “Golf House Pinehurst”, placing several facilities in Pinehurst in an effort to expand its impact in golf and extend its mission to champion and advance the game. These facilities will accommodate a golf equipment testing center; greens section, which provides advice on sod and grass maintenance; the USGA Foundation; and the US Open Championship Management Group. The facilities will be situated in a premier location in Pinehurst near the course where US Open events are held.
In addition, the USGA has committed to bring a series of five US Open Championship events to Pinehurst Resort beginning in 2024. The following championships will be held every five to six years. This is a great commitment in that normally these events are announced individually and are spaced out over ten to twelve years at any one location.
This site selection and incentive recruitment effort was led by Ernie Pearson, a partner in Nexsen Pruet law firm and the founding partner of Sanford Holshouser Economic Development Consulting.
Sanford Holshouser Economic Development Consulting in conjunction with Dr. Henry Lowenstein, prepared a very detailed economic and fiscal impact analysis which was then developed into presentation materials. The total economic impact of the facilities and the planned US Open events were estimated to be in excess of $2.5 billion.
NP Strategy, a full-service communications subsidiary of Nexsen Pruet, provides public relations and communications consulting assistance to a wide variety of companies and economic development organizations. NP Strategy assisted the USGA in preparing and executing the September announcement event and messaging regarding the opportunities the USGA is bringing to North Carolina and Pinehurst and its impact on the game. The announcement garnered significant global, industry, national and local media interest, generating more than 1 billion impressions among readers and viewers.
This project was supported by an $18 million appropriation from the General Assembly spread over five years pursuant to a grant agreement with the NC Department of Commerce. The project was also supported by the Village of Pinehurst, Moore County, and the Golden LEAF Foundation.
“This project is one of the most impactful site selection consulting projects I have ever worked,” stated Pearson. “It will have positive implications for all areas of North Carolina as other US Open championships have proven. It will also inevitably bring other USGA events to locations around the State.”
John Bodenhamer, Senior Managing Director of Championships for the USGA commented on the site selection team’s services, “I must start by thanking you for your undying faith in the USGA and the project… You never wavered in your commitment and persistence in seeing this project through to a positive conclusion. You saw possibilities that no one else envisioned…”
Read on the Sanford Holshouser website here.
Nexsen Pruet serves clients from nine offices across the Southeast. With more than 200 lawyers and professionals, the firm provides regional, full service capabilities with international strengths.