Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mississippi Gulf Coast to Host Champions TOUR Event in Biloxi next April;Enhances State’s Ascent as Rising Golf-and-Casino-Resort Destination

Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic will Benefit Habitat for Humanity; Likely Draw Players Such asFred Couples, Tom Watson, Fuzzy Zoeller, Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite

(JACKSON, Mississippi) – The Mississippi Development Authority today announces that a Champions TOUR event will be played on the Mississippi Gulf Coast at Biloxi’s Fallen Oak Golf Club, a Tom Fazio design and amenity of the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, rated one of the world’s greatest courses. The event, named the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, will primarily benefit Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and will be played April 26-May 2, 2010.

The tournament would bring 78 senior players, possibly including Fred Couples, Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite, Tom Watson, Fuzzy Zoeller and other greats.

“The Gulf Coast Business Council has a vision of seeing the Mississippi Gulf Coast become a Tier One tourism destination. Achievement of such an ambitious goal requires that we have nationally recognized events and attractions,” explained Anthony Topazi, Chairman of the Gulf Coast Business Council. “The PGA Champions Tour is a signature event for any region of this country and is a significant step in becoming a Tier One destination. This Tournament will showcase the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s premier golf, fishing, and resort amenities on a national and world-wide basis.”

A coalition of area businesses spearheaded by the Gulf Coast Business Council secured the TOUR event by pledging the $2.5 million commitment required by the PGA TOUR, which operates the Champions and Nationwide tours under its umbrella. The Business Council estimates an economic impact of $22 million.

“Hosting the Champions TOUR event on the Gulf Coast – in addition to the PGA TOUR’s Viking Classic which is held in Madison each fall – underscores the high-quality of golf courses offered throughout our great state,” said D. Craig Ray, Mississippi Development Authority Division of Tourism Director. “Mississippi is the nation’s third-largest gaming destination after Vegas and Atlantic City. We have the hotels, resorts, condos, restaurants and other high-quality attractions and visitor infrastructure which make us an ideal venue to showcase the area and the game’s great players.”

The Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic will be broadcast on the Golf Channel, which reports reaching more than 160 million estimated households globally.

Mississippi has established itself as the world’s best golf-and-gaming destination thanks to an abundance of highly decorated courses authored by some of the game’s greatest architects and an array of top-rated casino resorts.

In addition to great courses and casino resorts, visitors to Mississippi are enticed by the state’s many off-course attractions including the Blues Trail, five distinct regions ranging from the Delta to the Gulf Coast, its world-famous southern hospitality, and its chefs and gastronomic delights.

For more information about Mississippi call toll-free 866-801-8551, or go to and receive a free Golf Travel Guide, suggested play-and-stay itineraries and other attractions.


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