US OPEN merchandise for sale

Monday, June 4th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A big new store opens Thursday in Tulsa with 40 checkout lanes and 600 cashiers. But it already has plans to go out of business. It's the Merchandise Pavilion for the US Open, and as KOTV's Emory Bryan reports, it's open only through the end of the tournament.

They have hats and they have shirts. In fact, they have 400,000 items, in the biggest tent ever for a US Open. Mary Lopuszynski, US Golf Association: "We can't make the tent big enough, everybody wants product with the logo on it." The 30,000 square foot store, really a giant tent on the West 9 fairway, opens Thursday for a week and half of business. There are still lots of work left, but nearly a thousand people on hand to do it. Barbara Bird, Merchandise Volunteer Chair: "It was not difficult at all to get them, the difficulty was getting everybody divided up." The first shift of cashiers began training Monday. They have to work multiple shifts and they do not get a discount, but the fringe benefits are priceless. "That credential gets them on the grounds every day. So they work their 4 hour shift and the rest of the time they can just walk around and enjoy golf." But Mary Lopusynski has a better job, working for the US Open year round. She's arranged to have plenty of stock with more on standby, but this is the first time she's had to spray a tent to kill the moths. "I've liked everything about Tulsa so far, but the moths. She adds, "a few days ago it was like the movie the birds in here there were so many of them."

The US Open merchandise ranges from $2 to $550. They expect to sell out, just in time to go of business at the end of the Open. The pavilion at Southern Hills opens Thursday at 10 am. It's open to everyone until Sunday, but admission during the US Open requires a ticket. The only parking is at the Mabee Center, but shuttles will make the trip.