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Two weeks have passed since thousands of people visited Owen County for the 2009 U.S. Open Sporting Clays Championship, but the event is still a popular topic among many and its success will be remembered for years to come.
The event took place during the week of June 23-28 at Elk Creek Hunt Club. Shooters from all over the continental United States, as well as some from Canada, participated in the event.
Elk Creek Hunt Club manager Gary Kathman said the event turned out to be a complete success.
“It was fantastic,” Kathman said. “Everyone that shot in the shoot couldn’t believe the southern hospitality and how happy and receptive everyone in Owen County was.”
Kathman said everything went off as planned, but the weather was unpredictable at times.
“It was hard on our help to keep everyone hydrated,” Kathman said. “It was a bad week to have the hottest temperatures of the year and the three inches of rain we got one day slowed us down a bit and we had to quit shooting over two lightning storms the next day, but everyone finished shooting and it all worked out.”
Owen County Sheriff Zemer Hammond said everything went smoothly during the week of the shoot and no problems were reported.
President of the Owen County Chamber of Commerce, Pam Chappell ,said she felt the event was profitable for many in the county.
“I think some of the businesses did really well,” Chappell said. “I don’t think a lot of people turned out for the tourism part like we thought they might, but I think the restaurants, gas stations and convenient stores had an increase in revenue.”
Marilyn Rhodes, part-owner of Muddy Boots Cafe, said their business increased during the week of the event.
“I had quite a few of them for breakfast and lunch,” Rhodes said. “The week started out kind of slow but it picked up and we had probably 15 to 20 of them come in and eat.”
Rhodes said she would like to see more big events come to Owen County.
“I really believe Owen County needs to have more events to bring tourists in,” Rhodes said.
Kathman said although the winner of the main event was 15-year-old David Radulovich, everyone who participated was a winner.
“The real winner was everyone that shot,” Kathman said. “Everyone who experienced how welcoming and helpful the people of Owen County are, they were the real winners.”