I wouldn’t call it a complete recovery, but there’s a glimmer of hope in the Alberta economy, just judging by the numbers I see through our business.
Our tournament rounds and corporate packages are up and I’ve talked to a lot of people in the golf industry who are saying the same thing.
When I first got to Calgary in 2015, companies were concerned about the optics of holding a golf tournament when so many people were being laid off from their jobs and that’s understandable.
I remember during the economic meltdown of 2008-2009, companies went into a wait-and-see attitude, saying they had to be prudent with every move they made, just as it was in Alberta the past few years.
There was that initial shock to the economy, but then people realized that they had to get back to business as usual.
There are signs that there is more activity in the oil patch. I’m not saying it’s back just yet, just that there are positive signs.
Companies might now say that they won’t be able to do a 144-player shotgun, but they are considering a 72-player event. It’s good to hear people saying that they’ve got to take care of their customers, that the believe in what they’re doing.
The complete recovery may be two or three years down the road, but now is the time for them to say that even in hard times, their companies were there. Especially now when there is some light at the end of the tunnel, they want to be front and centre.
Individual golf club sales, membership sales and spending on golf is also trending into the positive, so it’s good for everybody to see corporations and individuals showing that the worst is over, even if there is a way to go yet.