Homeowners look to cash in on 2015 U.S. Open hype

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by ZAHID ARAB / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on February 28, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 28 at 8:02 PM

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. -- Hype over the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay has homeowners taking an opportunistic approach. With no hotels in the immediate area, the hope is renting out a room or their home all together could net thousands of dollars a night.

“I’ve got a list of 250 people that are interested in renting their place,” said Steve Sloboda, a realtor with Windermere Real Estate.

The event, which will runs from June 18-21, 2015, is expected to draw up to 35,000 visitors a day.

“Most people that go to these tournaments want to be nearby, so having homes with views that are close to the tournament have a lot of opportunity,” said Sloboda.

Chris Barrett’s home is a five minute drive away from the golf course.

“There’s a lot of buzz about it and a lot of people throwing out crazy numbers for what they think they can get for their houses,” said Barrett.

Ads are already up listing area homes from $1,500 to $6,000 a night during the U.S. Open weekend.

Barrett plans to stay in his home, instead renting out a few rooms bed & breakfast style. Sloboda estimates the going rate for rooms will be $300-$500 a night.

According to the realtor, the city of University Place won’t step in to regulate the rentals unless it becomes a problem.

“It’ll definitely be a good boom,” said Barrett, who plans to use the money towards a college fund for his two daughters.

While some may opt to spend a little more for closer accommodations, there are still 60-70 hotels available in Pierce County, according to the Tacoma Regional Convention & Visitor Bureau.

“We have nearly 6,000 rooms in Pierce County; the questions will be what golf travelers are looking for. Some we’ll be able to meet their needs, some we won’t,” said Bennish Brown, president/CEO of Tacoma Regional Convention & Visitor Bureau.

With an economic impact of $140 million, tourism officials call the event a high profile opportunity for the region.

The 2015 U.S. Open is also attracting high interest from volunteers. Organizers have created a waiting list since nearly 4,500 spots are already spoken for.

 
 

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