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The PGA Tour-Marriott Mega Resort Likely to Add
 a Whole New Tourism Aspect for San Antonio

By David Hendricks, San Antonio Express-News
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Oct. 14, 2005 - The planned PGA Tour-Marriott Hotel project planned for Northeast Bexar County will generate 2,000 permanent jobs and more than $1 billion in tax revenues over the next 25 years, a top PGA official projected in San Antonio on Thursday evening.

The 1,000-room hotel and two 18-hole tournament golf courses will create 5,000 construction jobs. The Cibolo Canyons resort will break ground in spring 2006 and open in summer or fall 2008.

The projections came from Vernon Kelly, president of PGA Tour's Golf Course Properties, based in Ponte Vedra, Fla., as he addressed more than 60 business owners and chief executives gathered by the San Antonio Manufacturers Association.

"This will create an industry that doesn't exist here," Kelly said.

Businessmen at the dinner agreed.

"This means a whole new aspect for entertainment and tourism in San Antonio," said Charlie Amato, co-founder of Southwest Business Corp., after Kelly's presentation.

"In the past, we concentrated on downtown, the River Walk and the Alamo, and the Missions. This is a new project that will add value to San Antonio," Amato added.

Over the next 25 years, the resort will generate $675 million in state and county taxes, $300 million in school district taxes to be shared by the North East and Judson school districts and $41 million for the Bexar County Hospital District, Kelly said.

The resort, on 2,847 acres north of Loop 1604 and east of U.S. 281, will be home to a PGA Tour Tournament Players Club, which will be eligible for PGA tournaments sanctioned by the PGA Tour.

Two of the eight PGA Tour tournaments held in Texas each year occur in San Antonio: the Valero Texas Open and the SBC Champions tournament. The Texas Open likely will move to the Cibolo Canyons resort, Kelly said.

There are 24 other Tournament Players Clubs and two under development, in Naples, Fla., and Cancun, Mexico.

All of them are used for economic development purposes. Corporations can entertain clients there and cities can entertain executives seeking to relocate operations. The clubs attract publicity for cities and create opportunities for charitable events, Kelly said.

The San Antonio golf courses will set a new standard in environmental safety with a "closed loop" drainage system that will protect the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone from pollution, Kelly said.

The resort will be surrounded by luxury homes on large lots. Lumbermen's Investment Corp. and Marriott Hotels will be the developers. The J.W. Marriott Hotel will include condos, timeshare units, a spa and more meeting space than any San Antonio hotel, Kelly said.

The resort will not be annexed by the city for 29 years, under an agreement signed this summer by the developers and the city of San Antonio.

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To see more of the San Antonio Express-News, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.mysanantonio.com.

Copyright (c) 2005, San Antonio Express-News

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