WE’RE JUST OVER TWO MONTHS AWAY FROM THE FIRST EVER US LOG ROLLING OPEN, IT’LL BE THE FIRST EVENT ON THE PRO TOUR THIS YEAR. HOW ARE THINGS GOING AS YOU PREPARE?
Rick: Preparation is going wonderfully, although it’s a lot of work to take a tournament to a new state. We are part of the Chicago Southland’s Summer of Lumber and have already received some excellent coverage. I’m really excited about some of the businesses we’ll be partnering with and I like the direction things are going.
DESCRIBE THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PEOPLE YOU’RE WORKING WITH IN THE CHICAGO AREA IN PREPARATION FOR THE EVENT?
Rick: Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau have been great to work with. Joel Koester, who’s the Sports Sales Director has been fantastic. He’s a great guy and really invested in the project. He’s been tremendous to work with. The marketing, website design and social media teams have been fantastic as well. Their expertise, professionalism, and energy for the event are amazing. Additionally, we’ve met with Joseph La Margo and his team with the Village of Orland Park, and Keloryn Putnam and her team at the Chamber. It’s been a good team to work with. Outstanding people.
WHAT ARE MAYBE SOME PLEASANT SURPRISES YOU’VE COME ACROSS IN THE PLANNING PROCESS?
Rick: All the organizations in the Chicago Southland – the Chamber, CVB, and the Village are making my job so much easier. Their support, dedication, and willingness to assist in finding locations, recommend local businesses, and spread the word is beyond what I imagined. We have received some great press coverage already and the community really seems to be embracing the tournament.
HAVE THERE BEEN ANY UNEXPECTED CHALLENGES?
Rick: There are many hurdles in expanding a tournament into a new state. The first location we had selected was a beautiful spot, but when we tested the water, the quality was not sufficient. The second location was in a park in a nearby city, but due to the June timing, flooding was a concern for the particular venue. Third time was a charm and we are thrilled to be in Centennial Park.