VILLAGE OF HARTLAND - Lake Country Rotarians, homeowners and hotel proprietors have been told to “manage your expectations” about making big profits from renting private homes and hotel accommodations to golfers, vendors and fans attending the U.S. Open Championship at Erin Hills Golf Course from June 12-18.
The Rotary is teaming up with local real-estate agents, homeowners and Airbnb to list private homes that are available for rent to golfers and vendors before the championship through the website LakeCountryKeys.com..
A portion of the proceeds from the rentals will be donated by the Rotary to the Lake Country Foundation.
However, Eric Steimer, manager of championships for the United States Golf Association, has advised Rotary and area homeowners to “manage your expectations” as to the amount of money golfers and vendors are willing to pay for accommodations.
This is the eighth U.S. Open that Steimer has helped manage. He is a full-time staff member of the USGA with a bachelor's degree in sports management.
“One of my jobs at every championship is to knock down rumors about how much golfers will pay to rent a home,” he told the Rotarians during their weekly meeting at the Hartland Inn on March 10.
“If you think Tiger Woods is going to rent your home and pay enough to build you a new swimming pool, forget it; it is not going to happen,” he added.
Steimer suggested homeowners should expect a rental fee that is comparable to what a downtown hotel would charge per night for accommodations for four people.
He also indicated the market is small.
Most of the golfers who rent homes make the arrangements with the USGA, which matches them up with homeowners whose properties fit the specific needs of the golfer. He said the USGA already has a list of hundreds of homes available for rent.
The USGA anticipates selling about 35,000 tickets a day for the Thursday through Sunday championship. Tickets will also be sold for the Monday through Wednesday practice rounds.
About 70 percent of those ticketholders will spend one day at the tournament, and the remaining 30 percent will stay an average of two days and might be seeking overnight accommodations, according to Steimer
Steimer offered the same “manage your expectations” advice to hotel proprietors during a later interview with Now Media Group.
“If you are expecting to rent a $200-a-night room for $400 dollars a night and put a four-night minimum on it, that probably is not going to happen,” he said.
Most of the 10,000 room nights that are being booked by the USGA will be in the larger properties in Milwaukee metropolitan area, according to Steimer.
The USGA focuses on the larger properties because it can negotiate more favorable rates for large blocks of rooms with the larger properties, Steimer explained.
Steimer said it is possible there might be rooms available during the championship week at smaller properties in some of the Washington and Waukesha county communities surrounding the golf course.
He said the USGA is working closely with the Milwaukee, Madison and Hartford convention and visitors’ bureaus.
There will be free parking available at two large parking lots about 30 to 45 minutes east and south of the golf course.
One will be on Highway Y near the County Line Road (Highway Q) and Highway 41/45 in Germantown.
The other lot will be in the Pabst Farms development on Blue Ribbon Circle near Highway 67/Interstate 94 in Oconomowoc.
About 200 buses will be used to shuttle spectators from the parking lots to the golf course.
There will be no USG- provided spectator parking on or near the golf course, according to Steimer.
Spectators arriving in vehicles carrying fewer than 12 passengers will be permitted to be dropped off at Erin School, from where they can walk about a quarter-mile to the course.
Spectator parking will not be permitted at the school.