My name is Pat Schmidt, and I am the chair of the board for the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce.
Normally, Warren Zimmerman, the president of the chamber, writes this column, but I was asked if I wanted to take a swing, so here it goes.
I thought I would tell you about a yes I gave a year ago. At a Chamber Business After Hours event at The Wine Studio in Gig Harbor, I was introduced to Patrick Maloney, and event planner who was in town to check if he could bring his “Boys on Tour” golf tournament to our area.
This is their 22nd year, and they travel the United States and Canada. It is always a surprise to the golfers where they are going. They just show up with their clubs, and they know they will be gone for five days. Pretty fun.
Maloney had contacted Laureen Lund, who was the marketing director for the city at the time, and Lund connected him to Abby Lovell from Abigail’s Concierge Services.
Lovell had taken Maloney around town, introduced him to Lindsay Munson at the Best Western Wesley Inn and had lunch at the Tides.
He loved Gig Harbor for his “Boys on Tour” but couldn’t figure out how to accommodate their specific needs. They usually rent multiple cabins, houses, houseboats and condos for their 24 golfers. They travel with their own chefs and need to be able to prepare their own meals.
As we were all chatting, and Maloney was talked about how he loved the area but didn’t think it would work for his group, I offered my house for cooking and serving the 24 golfers.
One thing led to another, and I called my husband to tell him I was bringing a guest home to check out our house.
We have a wonderful home on the water and a great deck. Maloney loved it, and that was that.
Last July, the Boys on Tour came to Gig Harbor in a giant Greyhound bus. They stopped in Olympia for a round of golf, and they arrived at the Wesley Inn for five nights.
During their time, they played golf at five regional courses. They came to our house for four evenings — absolutely magical weather during their stay — and had an amazing time.
So where does the Yes become important? What was the value to Gig Harbor?
• Forty-eight rooms at the Wesley Inn.
• Five regional golf courses in the area had 24 golfers play on their courses.
• Lunch and drinks (lots of drinks).
• Five days of groceries purchased by the chefs.
• Twenty-four golfers went to Heritage Distillery and purchased a lot of “gifts.”
• And my neighbor James Turner (JT’s BBQ) prepared barbecue for them that they will never forget.
They were the greatest guys, and we had such a wonderful time as we entertained them.
Last week, Maloney called to say he has three corporate groups and more coming for the U.S. Open in 2015, and he will be working with Lovell to secure homes in Gig Harbor for those groups, plan evening outings in Gig Harbor, rent boats, visit the distillery, The Tides, 7 Seas, etc. He chose Gig Harbor because he knows this is where he wants his corporate clients to stay.
Maloney has hosted the U.S. Open in other communities before and really anticipates that Gig Harbor will do well both in revenue and in showing what a wonderful place this is to live, raise a family, have a business and retire.
All we need to do is “jack it up” for the event.
All because of a yes.
So tell me about a yes you know about — either your own or someone you know.Pat Schmidt is the chair of the board for the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.