Organizers hope attendance for this weekend’s Denver Golf Expo surpasses 10,000
by Gary Baines
If it’s not one thing, it’s another.
Over the years, plenty of factors have affected attendance at the annual Denver Golf Expo, including weather issues and date conflicts with major sporting events or Valentine’s Day.
This year, there’s no overlap with the Super Bowl, the Daytona 500 or Cupid’s big day, and though the Winter Olympics start this weekend, the time difference in Korea may keep that from being a major issue for the Expo. And, barring Saturday’s forecast snow and cold from becoming a problem, the weather looks decent from the organizers’ perspective — not so warm that many people will stay away to actually play golf, and not likely adverse enough to keep a lot of people off the roads.
If everything aligns, Expo owners and operators Mark and Lynn Cramer are hoping attendance exceeding 10,000 for the three days (Friday through Sunday) is possible. The show hasn’t reached that mark since 2012, though last year was reasonably close (9,136).
“I’ll keep my fingers crossed that we’ll be over 10,000 — and the numbers support that,” Mark Cramer said recently, also noting that the number of exhibitors is up to 131 this year compared to 112 in 2017. “People have more money and at the shows that have been held, the gates are up for this year.”
This winter, as the Expo celebrates its 25th “birthday”, the show will be held — as usual — Friday through Sunday at the Denver Mart (northeast of the intersection of I-25 and 58th Ave.). Tickets run $13 for adults, $11 for seniors (over 50) and military with ID, and $3 for kids 16 and under.
As always, the show will feature exhibitors with plenty of deals, a lot of golf-related merchandise for sale, free lessons with PGA professionals, seminars on a variety of topics, a Lenny’s Golf club demo area, workshops, contests, and the opportunity to interact with many of the top golf organizations in the state — the CGA, Colorado PGA, the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado, the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame, The First Tee of Denver, etc.
Here are a few of the highlights:
— With the CGA and CWGA having united into one Allied Golf Association effective at the start of this year, its presence will be consolidated into one large area near the entrance to the Denver Mart. With a new tagline of “Celebrating the Future of Golf Together,” the integrated staff will be on hand to answer questions about the unification and other matters; to add or renew memberships; to inform people about programs, events and championships; and to explain benefits and discounts members receive. There also will be a few contest giveaways — for foursomes at CGA-owned CommonGround Golf Course and grand-prize stay-and-play packages for Laughlin, Nev. People can be entered in the contests by becoming members or taking surveys which help the CGA better understand needs of members and prospective members.
— The Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado, a joint effort of the CGA and the Colorado PGA, will be a fixture at the Expo once again. There, kids can participate in golf-related activities, get pointers on their games, and obtain information on a myriad of golf events and opportunities in 2018 — for every level from beginners to top-level players.
— The CGA will be conducting a two-day Rules of Golf Workshop at the Expo on Saturday and Sunday. And like last year — when the workshop was conducted in conjunction with the Expo for the first time since 2010 — the event has sold out well ahead of time.
— As has been a regular feature at the Expo, Colorado PGA pros will offer free 10-minute lessons throughout the three-day show.
— Seminars will be conducted from 11 a.m. through mid-afternoon each day. There will be swing, putting and mental tips from numerous PGA pros, and sessions on the importance of club fitting and the path to success for junior golfers. “Lessons from an LPGA Tour Champion” will be conducted at 3 p.m. on Saturday by Lauren Howe, a Coloradan who won an LPGA event in 1983. At 1 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. on Sunday, Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Kaye Kessler, a sports writer who chronicled Jack Nicklaus’ golf career from an early age, is scheduled to discuss the impact of Colorado and Coloradans on the national golf scene. And at 1 p.m. on Sunday, CGA director of rules and competitions Robert Duke will speak about lowering scores through understanding the Rules of Golf and preview prospective Rules changes that will take effect in 2019. For all the seminar topics, CLICK HERE.
— The radio folks from 104.3 The Fan will be broadcasting live from the Expo at various times this weekend.
— The grand prize up for grabs at this year’s show is a trip for four to Bandon Dunes in Oregon, including three nights lodging and a total of 12 rounds of golf at the Bandon Dunes resort.
The hours for the show this weekend are:
Friday, Feb. 9 — 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 10 — 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 11 — 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
For more information about the Expo, CLICK HERE.