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Golf, hotel decisions close

DULUTH -- Gwinnett tourism officials believe professional golfers will play a tournament in Gwinnett next year.

The Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau's Preston Williams and Stan Hall said talks about bringing a Champions Tour event to TPC Sugarloaf have been going well. The paperwork could be signed in the coming months.

"If the stars line up, we could be having a PGA tournament this time -- this very week -- next year," Williams said at a GCVB board of directors meeting Wednesday.

Professional Golf Association leaders, they said, like the proposal to work directly with the Gwinnett Sports Commission, an affiliate of the GCVB, rather than a foundation in Atlanta, as was the case when the AT&T Classic, once known as the BellSouth Classic, was played at the Duluth golf course until 2008.

Officials had hoped to have a recommendation and terms on a proposed headquarters hotel at the Gwinnett Center at Wednesday's meeting, but instead the decision will be delayed until next month.

Leaders are in talks with Nilhan Hospitality, a corporation that submitted a bid to build a 300-room full-service hotel. The bid included $60 million in private financing and would not have required county funds.

Commissioners will make a final decision on the hotel, after the GCVB's recommendation is made.