By Ross Dickson & Jackie Clark, AJGA Communications
This week, AJGA staff had the opportunity to meet with Visit Bentonville President, Kalene Griffith, to learn her thoughts behind the impact of the AJGA on the local community. The AJGA Junior All-Star at Lost Springs presented by Visit Bentonville was awarded the 2015 AJGA Junior All-Star of the year, and continues to grow its impact on the local community each year.
After speaking with Griffith, we learned a lot more about Bentonville and what it means for the local community to host an AJGA event. She spoke with great detail about the mission of Visit Bentonville as an organization and how hosting an AJGA event is allowing the community to attract more tourism.
“Bentonville is a unique community with so many opportunities. It has a cool vibe with new restaurants, new culinary, and new attractions,” Griffith said. “Our mission is to promote and advertise Bentonville as a tourism destination.”
When asked about what it means for Bentonville to host an AJGA event, Griffith talked about the excitement of hosting an event that has national recognition.
“One of the most important things for us is to show that we can showcase events that are big and have national exposure like the American Junior Golf Association,” Griffith said. “Other events have come on because of the AJGA and there’s been a huge impact on the sporting world for us and we appreciate that.”
In 2015, the AJGA Junior All-Star at Lost Springs presented by Visit Bentonville won the Junior-All Star of the Year award for its impact on the local community. The event has contributed significantly to the local economy, bringing in large amounts of money each year. In 2014, the total economic impact reached $198,484, which includes all visitor spending and AJGA administration costs. In 2015, that figure grew significantly to $259,778. The historical impact of the event adds to a total of $458,262.
“We were honored for that (2015 Junior All-Star of the Year),” Griffith said. “We’re really very proud of the golf course at Lost Springs and their staff, we’re proud of our young sports staff that are working for us. We’re just honored that they would choose us and look forward to continue to impact the AJGA and our community.”