Beyond the Classic 2009: 30 Years

Beyond the Classic

For 30 years, restaurants, hotels and attractions in the Southern Tier could always count on being packed the last week in May.

It wasn't just the Memorial Day weekend or warming weather that brought thousands of travelers to the area. It was also one of the region's premier sporting events - the LPGA Corning Classic. But this year's event will be the last. Tournament officials announced last month that economic realities make it impossible to sustain the Corning Classic any longer. Now, those same businesses face the grim reality of life beyond the Corning Classic and the obvious question - now what "The tournament has been very beneficial to the area, not only to the hospitality industry, but also for good will and charity. It's going to be a big loss," said Brendalyn Keefer, director of operations for the Hilton Garden Inn in Big Flats. "It gave us some great recognition, being a small town having lady professional golfers here, and gave us more recognition on an overall basis," Keefer said. "Certainly, it's going to be a loss. The benefit we have is, it's an opportunity for something new."

The strongest attribute of the LPGA Corning Classic has always been its timing, local tourism officials say.

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