Village completes prep for 30,000 visitors per day for golf event
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVEâ€”Village President Sean Michels said Sugar Grove is ready for the onslaught of visitors that begins on Monday, Aug. 17, when the 2009 Solheim Cup comes to town.
â€œThe police departments are coming together; even the weather looks like it’s going to cooperate,â€ Michels said on Tuesday.
Michels and other village officials have been pushing hard to have the local road construction complete before the start of the prestigious international event. The Solheim Cup features the best female golfers in the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) in the United States against the top European-born players in the Ladies European Tour (LET).
The event, which takes place at Rich Harvest Farms at Dugan Road off of Route 30 in Sugar Grove, will run from Monday, Aug. 17, to Sunday, Aug. 23. Organizers estimate the number of visitors each day at approximately 30,000. Hotels in Aurora, Naperville and beyond have been booked for months.
The Illinois Department of Transportation has been extremely cooperative, Michels said. The Municipal Drive and Galena Boulevard extension was completed a couple of weeks ago.
The spectator guide for visitors to the event directs them to drive west on Interstate 88 and take the Route 56 exit into town. IDOT has promised that the repaving of Route 56 will be complete before the event, something Michels did not think was possible just a few weeks ago.
In addition, IDOT workers have been seen painting the steel bridges over routes 47 and 56 and mowing the grass bordering the roads in an effort to spruce up the area for visitors.
Village trustee Melisa Taylor said it probably did not hurt to mention the rumor that Olympic site selection committee officials will attend the Solheim Cup, to see how Illinois handles an international sporting event.
The Solheim Cup has been in the planning stages since 2004.
â€œIt always seemed so far off,â€ Michels said. â€œIt’s hard to believe it’s finally here.â€