Bethpage businesses hope PGA Championship fans come spend money

Nassau County Legislator Laura Schaefer called the 2019 PGA Championship a "hole in one" for downtown Bethpage.

"We're here to tell you today that Bethpage is open for business," Schaefer said.

The Bethpage Chamber of Commerce hopes to attract thousands of golf enthusiasts to its businesses this week.

Getting to town will be easy, thanks to a free shuttle service that will bring spectators from the main gate to the heart of the Bethpage business district. The shuttle will run continuously from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., according to Matthew Silver, the president and CEO of Ultimate Class Limousine.

While this is the first time the Bethpage Black course will host a PGA Championship, the Long Island hamlet is no stranger to big crowds and the challenges that accompany them.

Business owners say they're prepared to deal with traffic and argue that the pros outweigh the cons.

The course was home to both the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens and is also scheduled to host the 2024 Ryder Cup.

"People will want to come back here," Bethpage Chamber of Commerce President Teri Black said. "This is a public course, and people can play where the greatest in the world play."

Eager fans can get a glimpse of their favorite golfers at practice rounds, which have begun.

The pro golfers are set to tee off on Thursday, May 16.