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U.S. Senior Open Championship Puts National Spotlight on the Lehigh Valley

By Colin McEvoy on June 27, 2022

A seasoned real estate executive, Greg Kloiber is the Managing Partner at the Detroit-based Campio, a leading independent commercial real estate advisory firm. For more than 30 years, he has worked with business executives and other clients to help them make the best possible real estate decisions.

Kloiber has worked on industrial projects in the Lehigh Valley for decades, but during his recent visit to the 42nd U.S. Senior Open Championship, which was held in the region, he realized how many quality-of-life opportunities there are in the region as well.

“It was an eye-opening experience,” Kloiber said. “Between the renaissance of the Bethlehem Steel site and downtown area, and everything going on in downtown Allentown, the region is blossoming and demonstrates that it has the right combination of attractions and amenities to make it a winner for businesses, employees, and ultimately the community.”

Kloiber was one of several decision-makers in business development, site selection, and commercial real estate that the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) invited to attend the U.S. Senior Open, which was held from June 23 to 26 at the Saucon Valley Country Club in Upper Saucon Township.

LVEDC used that prestigious event as an opportunity to invite individuals involved in site selection and corporate location decisions and familiarize them with the region, so that the Lehigh Valley is front of mind when they consult with future clients seeking a real estate location in the Northeast.

“As the spotlight was on the Lehigh Valley during this world-class sporting event, it provided an excellent opportunity for us to make sure these key decision-makers are familiar with one of the fastest-growing markets of its size in the United States,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham.

LVEDC hosted a hospitality suite on the 17th hole at the U.S. Senior Open, which also included branding from the Made Possible in Lehigh Valley marketing initiative. Members of LVEDC’s staff were on-hand to assist guests and provide information about everything the Lehigh Valley economy has to offer.

Jeffrey Garibaldi Sr., President of the New Jersey-based Garibaldi Group, was among the guests hosted by LVEDC. He praised the event and its organizers, as well as the Saucon Valley Country Club location and the chance to see the Lehigh Valley in general.

“The hospitality shown by the Lehigh Valley was just amazing, and it was a great opportunity to meet some of the local developers, brokers, and business folks that were there,” Garibaldi said. “It also gave me a chance to meet up with some colleagues in the business community I haven’t seen in some time because of COVID-19. It was a wonderful event.”

J.B. Reilly, President of City Center Investment Corporation, attended the U.S. Senior Open and described it as a well-run event that attracted people from all over the world to the Lehigh Valley.

“Visitors not only saw the world’s best senior golfers compete, but they were also introduced to the entire region, many of them for the first time,” Reilly said. “Specifically, at the LVEDC hospitality tent, I met site selectors, corporate real estate agents, and executives involved in business development. They all had positive things to say about our region.”

The event was televised by NBC and its affiliated networks over the course of four days. This national exposure for the Lehigh Valley follows several recent national media stories about the region including a New York Times story about the city of Easton, a story on American Public Media’s Marketplace program, and a segment on CBS Sunday Morning.

LVEDC regularly engages with organizations like the Site Selectors Guild, the national professional association of site selectors, location consultants, and national industrial commercial brokers. One of its members, Jay Garner of Garner Economics, provided an assessment that helped inform the creation of LVEDC’s newly-adopted strategic plan.

“The LVEDC board felt the U.S. Senior Open Championship was a great opportunity to showcase the Lehigh Valley to both companies and the real estate professionals they rely on to see why the region is a great investment for companies looking to grow,” said Edward Dougherty, Chair of the LVEDC Board of Directors.

This year marks the third time the United States Golf Association (USGA) has selected the Saucon Valley Country Club to host the U.S. Senior Open Championship. It also previously hosted the prestigious event in 1992 and 2000.

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