The PGA Tour is now committed to continue its long-term relationship with St. Johns County, and economic leaders say they can barely imagine the county without its largest corporate headquarters.
St. Johns County commissioners voted Tuesday in favor of a tax incentive package that will encourage the Tour to move forward with its plans to construct a new building to centralize its headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach.
“It’s like retaining your customers,” said St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce president Isabelle Rodriguez.
“Helping them grow where they are already successful is a greater return on investment for a community like us, and so that is something that any economic developer would dream of to have a project like that.”
The Tour’s decision to make the county its long-time home — where it’s already been for more than three decades — is comparable in importance to Northrop Grumman’s expansion, here, Rodriguez said, because it guarantees that about 800 high-paying jobs will stay in the county with another 300 expected to be created.
“Headquarters have high-level executives that are going to receive high-wage jobs and are going to spend more money in the county,” Rodriguez said.
There’s also quite a bit of cachet involved in being home to a well-known and respected organization like the Tour.
Having the Tour here can even help when the county is trying to entice others to come here.
“If you have a company that is happy to stay where they are and they want to continue investing, to me it’s a validation of a good partnership and that this place is a great place to continue growing business,” Rodriguez said. “(If) an organization such as the PGA Tour has committed to make an additional commitment (here), there must be something to it in St. Johns County.”
Melissa Glasgow, who is the county’s director of economic development, said keeping the Tour headquarters here is a further guarantee that St. Johns County will keep getting worldwide exposure.
“The media attention derived from the fact that their headquarters is here, coupled with The Players Championship being hosted here every year in our backyard provides such a great showcase for the county,” she said. “That helps benefit economic development.”