Gaylord Golf Mecca Excels in 2019, Expands for 2020
20 Golf Courses and 20 Lodging Partners Provide Dynamic Northern Michigan Destination
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GAYLORD, Mich. – Better yet describes what is happening as the Gaylord Golf Mecca turns into 2020 and begins a 33rd year as a cooperative multi-property marketing effort welcoming visitors to an international golf destination in Northern Michigan.
“The Mecca turned in another outstanding year in 2019 and there are some exciting, and even better things on the horizon,” Paul Beachnau, the executive director of the Mecca and the Gaylord Area Convention and Tourism Bureau, said.
“Golf in the Mecca is thriving. We have come together in an industry that’s very competitive and continued to keep working to make things better year after year. I think we all realize that if we work together to put Gaylord on the tourism map everyone benefits. A rising tide benefits all ships.”
The Mecca sails into 2020 off another gangbuster year that generated over 200,000 rounds and total golf expenditures of almost $13.8 million among its 15 golf course members and 20 lodging partners in 2019.
“Numbers were up and we are planning another aggressive marketing campaign with one of the biggest budgets we have seen in our history,” Beachnau said. “Our cooperation among members remains at an all-time high. Together last summer we employed over 750 people with a payroll over $9.5 million, which makes us one of the top tourism businesses in Michigan.”
Better things on the horizon are evident as well. The Mecca announced earlier this month that two new member properties – Garland Golf Resort in Lewiston and Lakes of the North Golf Course in Mancelona – have joined the Mecca for 2020.
That brings the total of golf courses to 20 for 2020 because Garland features four golf courses at its sprawling beautiful resort aptly named Fountains, Monarch, Reflections and Swampfire, and Lakes of the North harbors a versatile course that showcases the beauty of Northern Michigan.
“Garland and Lakes of the North are excited to be part of the Mecca and simply make us stronger,” Beachnau said. “We are unique in this country as a destination in the north because of the quantity and the quality of golf. Only Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday has been together as a cooperative marketing effort longer, and I see and feel a resurgence in cooperative action, in golf travel and a good economy.”
Beachnau said the future is also brighter because the partnership with Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City has opened up new markets in Texas, Arizona, Florida and on the East Coast.
“It is easier to get to Northern Michigan and we are seeing results because golfers can easily fly to us,” Beachnau said. “It’s exciting. I like the idea that we have 20/20 vision for 2020. I see great things continuing to happen.”
Judy Mason, the director of golf at member Michaywe’ – The Pines, was re-elected by members as chairman of the Mecca earlier this month. She said 2019 in the Mecca proved to be successful despite some poor weather conditions during parts of the year that limited golf. She also pointed to the Otsego Resort being under new ownership as a positive for the cooperative effort.
“I think as a group we were thrilled to have Otsego Resort establish itself with new ownership because a property like that adds to our strength in the future,” she said. “We’re also looking forward to the new properties in 2020. Garland Resort and Lakes of the North give us 20 course options to market and that adds strength and to our marketing bottom line. Those things make us all excited about the future of the Gaylord Golf Mecca.”
via Greg Johnson