Montgomery County hotels got an added boost last weekend with the influx of people attending the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda — on top of the swarms of residents seeking air-conditioned rooms following massive power outages from thunderstorms.
The 270-room Doubletree Hotel Bethesda was sold out all weekend, said general manager Rodney Bernard. A lot of that was due to the golf event, but the storm caused an additional surge in bookings, he said.
“We expected to be at 80 percent over the weekend into Monday and ended up sold out all weekend,” Bernard said.
The golf tournament set a single-day attendance record on Sunday, but Friday night's storm prompted officials to ban spectators from the course on Saturday. On Sunday, 48,611 people watched Tiger Woods win the tournament by two strokes against Bo Van Pelt, said Rachel Rees, a spokeswoman for the Tiger Woods Foundation, which the tournament benefits.
The tournament's six-day attendance was 136,155, the lowest since 2008, when Woods did not compete. The 2009 event at Congressional, which Woods also won, remains the most popular, with 194,073 in attendance.
The AT&T event in 2009 generated an estimated $29.1 million in direct and indirect spending in the county, with some 23,000 spectators, golfers and others staying overnight in the county, according to a study commissioned by the Montgomery County Department of Business and Economic Development. Officials did not yet have a spending estimate for the 2012 event, department spokeswoman Kristina Ellis said this week.
The AT&T National, which started in 2007 in Bethesda, moved to Newtown Square, Pa., in 2010 and 2011 to allow Congressional to prepare for last year’s U.S. Open. In Pennsylvania last year, total attendance was about 150,000.
Woods now has the second most all-time PGA tournament wins with 74, one more than Jack Nicklaus and eight behind the late Sam Snead.
Woods was ranked fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking as of Sunday. The three golfers ahead of him — Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood — did not compete in the AT&T National.