HILTON HEAD, Sc. (WSAV) – The RBC Heritage takes place on about a four mile course with 132 players, but its impact stretches far beyond that.
“The economy of not only Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County, but the entire state of South Carolina is touched by this tournament,” said Bill Miles, President of Hilton Head Chamber of Commerce.
One of 42 PGA Tour stops and the biggest sporting event in the state… its payoff is $96 million dollars every year, according to the last 5-year study.
“It affects all of our restaurants …catering, we have small businesses who are exhibiting,” said Miles, “It’s great for business. Our beaches are full, the hotel occupancy numbers are at a very, very high rate.”
“From Boeing all the way down to Hilton Head Ice Cream, we have all sorts of different partnerships,” said the Tournament Director Steve Wilmont.
One of the newest businesses participating, Hilton Head Social Bakery, is already a fan favorite.
“We just opened in October… we are the home of the singing croissant,” said Owner Marissa Bumpus, “We are offering French pastries, bread, sandwiches, baguettes, cookies, macaroons, and everybody is loving our stuff here.”
The week alone brings not only 1,200 volunteers in, but also creates more than 1,200 jobs.
“I’m with Coastal Security services and we’ve hired well over 300 people just for this event,” said Melissa Harrison with Coastal Security Services.
Even the Hilton Head Firefighters got in the kitchen to make some dough.
“About $40,000 dollars is what we raise here in a week and we tend to give almost 100 percent of those proceeds back to the community,” said Bryan Scharver with Hilton Head Fire and Rescue Association.
Community is a big part, with the Heritage Classic Foundation donating $35 million to charity in since it began, and supporting students across the Lowcountry.
“There have been over 300 students that have received scholarships to the tune of over $4 million dollars,” said Miles.
And with RBC and Boeing now signed on ’til 2023, this economic engine isn’t stopping any time soon.