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The Solheim Cup: Spreading the wealth to the Vistula neighborhood

Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 12:43 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Solheim Cup has brought tens of thousands of people into the city, and many local merchants are using it as an opportunity to drum up some business, especially those in the Vistula neighborhood.

The tournament is expected to bring millions of dollars into the city, and while much of the excitement is at The Inverness Club on Dorr St. or downtown, a group of Vistula businesses banded together to make sure that Lowertown wasn’t left out of the fun.

“The Vistula neighborhood is the oldest in Toledo, and it’s currently having a resurgence,” says Eric Strayer, marketing director for Toledo Spirits and Heavy Beer Co.

The Solheim Cup is expected to bring $30 million into Toledo. For months, businesses have been planning events to maximize their share of the profits.

“When I heard that Solheim was coming to Toledo, the economic imprint, the community, the number of fans it was going to draw in, I thought, ‘We definitely have to do something to highlight Vistula,’” says Ambrea Mikolajczyk, owner of ARK Restoration and Construction.

And Lowertown Links was born. Sunday’s festival was not officially a part of The Solheim Cup, but it was designed to spread the wealth that comes with the tournament.

“I wanted to do something community-based to get fans this way, to get the community out this way and get people engaged with the businesses down here,” says Mikolajczyk.

A free shuttle brought people from downtown every five minutes. The first stop was Wonderlofts, where tours of the new apartments were available. Behind the building was family fun.

“Goosebumps. When I met with Solheim leadership back in the winter when they were introducing this to the businesses, I got chills just thinking about how massive it is and the impact it will have on Toledo,” says Mikolajczyk.

At Toledo Spirits and Heavy Beer Co, the weekend was a success. A luau brought in guests for exotic drinks made with local spirits.

“It’s been great. We’ve been at capacity all weekend ... it’s been a great weekend for Toledo Spirits,” says Strayer.

Now that it’s been a success, Vistula wants to do it all over again.

“The more people we can bring into Toledo and down to Vistula and into our bar, the more the merrier. We love it,” says Strayer.

In 2017, The Solheim Cup generated more than $30 million in Des Moines. Only time will tell how much Toledo will profit.

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