In GGPBiz Shorts, our writers check in with news of their travels around the business world of golf. This time around, Joe Mustian reports from Las Vegas and North Carolina.
Atomic Golf on deck at The Strat
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA | When you hear a new golf project is coming to Main Street in Anywhere, USA, it sounds like a quaint small-town development. But when you hear one is coming to Main Street and Las Vegas Boulevard, you know it’s going to be over the top.
And so it is with Atomic Golf adjacent to The Strat Hotel and Casino.
With 99,000 square feet of “electrified and animated golf fun” that includes 103 hitting bays, 10 putting bays, six bars and giant video screens for sports viewing, Atomic Golf is set to open by the end of this year, with The Strat telling its employees that the facility will be open in time for the Las Vegas Formula 1 race on November 18.
The $75 million venture is a partnership between range technology company Flite Golf & Entertainment and Strat owner Golden Entertainment, which is providing 7 acres of land for the facility.
The project is one of several upgrades to The Strat in recent years, and Golden Entertainment chairman and CEO Blake Sartini expects Atomic Golf to bring 500,000 to 600,000 visitors to his casino. Sartini envisions some form of players club benefits that will cross over with Atomic Golf, and the new facility will use The Strat’s parking garage for all of its patrons.
“We are focused, very focused, on ensuring that those people within the Atomic Golf facility have many reasons to visit our properties before or after they are done with the Atomic Golf,” Sartini said on an earnings call in May.
“(Atomic Golf), our first flagship location, will feature the latest in golf and entertainment technology for those looking to create memorable experiences with friends and family. The location along the Strip adjacent to The Strat is truly unmatched and accessible from anywhere in the Valley.” – John Vollbrecht
The project also portends great things for Flite Golf. The Dallas-based company offers turnkey technology solutions for golf entertainment venues, with products that span from shot tracking to facility management. With the glitz and glitter of Las Vegas – and a competing Topgolf at the other end of the Strip at MGM Grand – Atomic Golf will be Flite Golf’s coming-out party.
“We could not be more excited to enter the Vegas market next to the iconic Strat,” Flite Golf CEO John Vollbrecht said when the project was announced in August. “(Atomic Golf), our first flagship location, will feature the latest in golf and entertainment technology for those looking to create memorable experiences with friends and family. The location along the Strip adjacent to The Strat is truly unmatched and accessible from anywhere in the Valley.”
And it’s a long way from Main Street in Anywhere, USA.
Pik-n-Pig rises from the ashes
CARTHAGE, NORTH CAROLINA | Whether you walk, drive or fly, it’s once again time to head to this Sandhills spot for barbecue.
A favorite of golf fans and players at the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open played at Pinehurst Resort in consecutive weeks in 2014, the Pik-n-Pig restaurant is back in business after a fire destroyed the operation in May 2021.
Equally famous for its hickory-smoked Boston butts and its location next to the airstrip of a small-town airport (call sign BQ1) just 12 miles from Pinehurst, Pik-n-Pig reopened on February 9.
“It’s been crazy,” said Tiffani Sheppard, who owns and operates Pik-n-Pig with her husband, Ashley, and his mother, Janie. “We ended up opening up a week earlier than we had planned. We announced it on the eighth, and we were kind of nervous really – Is anybody going to show up? – and we had a line that next day.
“Almost every Saturday and Sunday, that first motorcycle, that first car, pulls into the parking lot between 10 and 10:30, and they start lining up. It’s a destination. We’ve got a lot of car clubs and motorcycle clubs and aviation groups that like to drive and fly and come in on two wheels, four wheels, three, whatever it is. So, it’s been crazy to see, but we’ve been beyond blessed.”
The restaurant, of course, also serves its local community of Moore County, but the good food and unique location make it a must-stop detour for golfers who visit central North Carolina.
“We’ve got golfers that are coming from Raleigh and Durham that are here playing local courses,” Sheppard said. “They’re playing Dormie, they’re playing Pinehurst, they’re playing Pine Needles, wherever it is, and when they ask around town about good barbecue, everybody knows where to send them.”
The fire claimed the 2014 U.S. Open flags the Sheppards had hanging in the restaurant, but their connection to that event was strong, and they are excited about the men’s Open’s return in 2024.
“I had a client through Pinehurst that knew that my family had a barbecue place and had been out here several times, and he reached out to us in 2014,” said Sheppard, who also works in sales at Pinehurst. “They sponsored and fed the golf course maintenance guys, so they had us come and feed them lunch every day.
“The U.S Open was an amazing, cool feather in our cap.”
And the Pik-n-Pig’s return is an amazing, cool event for barbecue lovers everywhere.
© 2023 Global Golf Post LLC
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Tell us how we can improve this post?