The anticipated arrival of 120,000 visitors has downtown Parker businesses going all out for the occasion.
Thousands of international visitors and American golf fans will descend on the town for the Solheim Cup, a U.S.-vs.-Europe women’s golf tournament at the Colorado Golf Club Aug. 13-18. Businesses began hanging decorations and placing flags along Mainstreet the week of Aug. 5, and Big Plan Creative, a company hired by the Town of Parker, painted festive Solheim Cup signs on shop windows Aug. 6-7 to welcome the out-of-towners.
Restaurants are altering their menus, offering specials to those who wish to try the local fare, and adorning their patios with international flags and golf-themed signs. Likewise, stores are loading up on extra merchandise in preparation for the expected increase in customers.
Laurie Womer, owner of Mainstreet Flower Market, said she is planning to double her orders of “grab-and-go” flowers and roses in the hopes that fans will want to give them as gifts to their favorite players. Although she is not sure what to expect, Womer says the prospect of more consumer traffic has everyone eager to put their best foot forward.
“I’m excited to see all the different kinds of people coming through from all over,” Womer said.
Local home care company To The Rescue is operating six shuttles that will take spectators from the course to the downtown area and back. Another set of shuttles will take them from downtown to a shuttle lot at Salisbury Park. The idea is to provide a means for fans to easily go out to dinner or shop without having to navigate unfamiliar roadways, said Sara Crowe, owner of Events Etc., an event planning company contracted by the town.
A restaurant and entertainment guide with coupons was designed specifically for the Solheim Cup and will point the visitors to eateries and stores throughout the town.
A slew of events scheduled during the week of the Solheim Cup will also ensure that vacationers have plenty to see and experience when they visit Parker. The Parker Chamber of Commerce is having its monthly Wine Walk on a Monday, Aug. 11, instead of the typical Friday-night time slot. Live bands will be a part of the kickoff that same night. Two “Movies in the Park” events are scheduled for Aug. 16 and 17 and the Parker Artist Guild is having its annual “Art in the Park” festival the same weekend.
The trees at O’Brien Park will be illuminated at night with red, white and blue bulbs as a show of support for the home team, which has never lost on U.S. soil.
“The hope is that when people come into town, they will say, ‘Is something going on?’” Crowe said. “We want them to spend their time and money in the community and have fun while they’re here.”