ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The PGA Championship is a global event, and with that, comes global money, businesses, and people.
Bob Duffy with the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, said that hundreds of businesses will be at Oak Hill Country Club; for visitors, to sponsors, to potential investors. For the Chamber and others, this is the time to make the pitch to invest in the 585.
“It’s the best showcase Rochester could ever have,” Duffy said in a Zoom call. Duffy says this is his third PGA. Duffy has also served as Rochester’s mayor and police chief. “This is our Super Bowl.”
And, as it turns out, it’s an easy pitch: with plentiful natural resources, technology talent and infrastructure, and more… But Duffy says its interpersonal side is what puts Rochester over the top.
“You sell our community by showing respect and being positive, and by letting people know what this is all about,” Duffy said while adding the area’s natural beauty, culture, and restaurants as strong selling points for investors.
“One thing we often sell ourselves short on is court ability to connect with the community,” said Matt Hurlbutt, president of Greater Rochester Enterprise — an area economic development organization. “The ability to connect and solve problems is a selling point.”
A book published in 2019, “Jump-Starting America,” listed Rochester as the best place in a study of 102 cities for technological growth. The book examined multiple demographic, education, and lifestyle categories.
The Greater Rochester area has 19 colleges and universities are in the area — and are ready for growth. GRE says that are focused on growing high-tech food and beverage companies.
“Talent, technological innovations and an entrepreneurial spirit are just a few of the assets that prompt companies to invest and create jobs here,” Hurlbutt said in a previous statement sent to News 8.
In addition to Coca-Cola — which is slated to invest a total of $650 million in the form of the future fairlife facility in Webster — GRE says they are working with Constellation Brands, HP Hood, and Wegmans during the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.
Hurlbutt said in a previous interview with News 8 that Coca-Cola and fairlife’s investment — not to mention Li-Cycle — continues to show that other businesses can and will invest in the Rochester area, especially food and beverage and technology businesses.
“We have strengths in advanced manufacturing — from material science to chemistry, semi-conductors, supply chains, optics and photonics and imagery opportunities,” Hurlbutt said in a phone interview. “Rochester is known as a smart, outstanding, entrepreneurial ecosystem, and (GRE’s) efforts reflect that.”
Duffy, who has been with the Chamber since 2015, reminisced on a quote from a Kodak CEO:
“Rochester (was) the hardest place to recruit talent for Kodak, and it’s the hardest for people to leave.”