The Broadmoor Hotel proposal to expand its golf courses in order to host major men's championships every 10 years is generating buzz among the city's golfers, even if the possibility is at least seven years away. Many locals, especially those who do not live near the resort, liked the concept of bringing in the world's best for the PGA Championship, U.S. Open and/or Ryder Cup.
'It's a fabulous idea, ' Patty Jewett Golf Course regular Lyn Francis said. 'It's a win-win for everyone. '
To qualify for men's majors, The Broadmoor must add about 1,000 yards to reach the 8,100 required at this altitude. That can be done by taking holes from both the East and West courses and lengthening at least six, Broadmoor golf director Russ Miller said.
Miller said the hotel, which wanted to make this move for some time, would focus on hosting men's majors every 10 years and not become an annual PGA Tour stop.
'We have the community support, the motel rooms, airport and police, but the course is always the top priority, ' Miller said. 'We cannot even apply before we have that. '
Interest from the PGA picked up after the success of the 2008 Senior Open and 2011 U.S. Women's Open.
'That really built up our resume, ' Miller said.
It will be years before the hotel can host such an event. The next available openings are the 2020 PGA Championship, 2021 U.S. Open and 2024 Ryder Cup.
The 18th hole of the East course likely will be included since it ends at the hotel where there is room for a 4,000-seat grandstand, Miller said.
Public meetings Tuesday and Wednesday at The Broadmoor's Colorado Hall and June 4 and June 6 at Broadmoor Hall, all 6 to 8 p.m., continue after the first one was held Tuesday. The Broadmoor is owned by Anschutz Corp., whose Clarity Media Group owns The Gazette.
The Colorado Springs City Council must approve the closure of Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard where it crosses the courses to make room.
Area residents have expressed concern that traffic could worsen and outweigh the estimated $160.5 million economic boost per event.
'I think it would be a wonderful idea, but they need to find a way to address the traffic concerns, ' club member Kelly McCarty said. 'The Broadmoor as it stands is already a popular and challenging golf course. '
Others see the benefit.
'I think it would be a wonderful event for the city with lots of benefit prior to and for years after, ' said area resident Dave Delich, who played in the 2008 Senior Open. 'I use that road all the time, but if they close it, I would adjust. '
Reed Cagle, whose company was a Women's Open sponsor, would love to bring clients in for a men's major, although his home would be affected.
Patty Jewett manager Dal Lockwood said business picked up in 2011 the week of the Women's Open.
'We could tell by the number of phone calls from out of town and the cabs dropping people off, ' he said.