executive travel cincinnati

Executive Travel is committed to providing world class, personal and professional travel management services that “WOW” our customers. We are people centric, service focused and technology driven.

Travel impacts every part of an organization and the complexities of managing a travel program continue to increase each year. The mission at Executive Travel is to “Simplify Travel” for all stakeholders at every stage. Our Core Values drive this mission and are the foundation of our continued success.

Travel planning can be a complex process and Executive Travel is committed to simplifying it for you. For thirty years we have been providing the best in travel planning for companies and leisure clients. Our goal is to enable you to relax and focus on the enjoyment of the experience without the hassle and worry of managing all the details.

THE THREE PILLARS OF SIMPLIFYING TRAVEL

MANAGEMENT_ICON

TRAVEL PROGRAM MANAGEMENT

Executive Travel manages the evolution of your travel program with comprehensive business planning, targeted measures of success, and dynamic business reviews.

EXPERIENCE_ICON

TRAVELER EXPERIENCE

Best in Class travel programs are built around the traveler experience. Our industry leading 91 Net Promoter Score speaks volumes.

INTELLIGENCE_ICON

ETINTELLIGENCE

ETIntelligence is both our methodology and suite of proprietary and 3rd party products and services that drive our clients travel programs.

HOW ARE WE DIFFERENT? OUR SEVEN COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES

What makes us different? Listed below are videos of seven major competitive advantages that Executive Travel offers compared to other travel management companies.

executive travel cincinnati

Our blueprint for up to 25% savings

executive travel cincinnati

The marriage of travel service & security

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Our tactical 10 point business plan

executive travel cincinnati

Zero full service & online transaction fees

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Platinum advisor service (VIP service without the VIP cost)

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World-class hotel sourcing

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ETSATISFACTION

It’s not what you say that matters, it’s what you do

TRAVEL MANAGEMENT COMPANY COMPARISONS

Check out how we stack up against the competition.

COST SAVINGS

Account management, traveler services & support, executive club vip service, travel management service, mobile app features, executive club vipservice.

executive travel cincinnati

Executive Travel engaged Zulu Solutions to compare travel management company’s competitive advantages in 2019. If you have questions or identify information that needs to be updated please contact us at [email protected]

EXECUTIVE TRAVEL BY THE NUMBERS

executive travel cincinnati

TRAVEL BOOKED

executive travel cincinnati

NET PROMOTER SCORE

executive travel cincinnati

AVERAGE HOTEL NIGHT SAVINGS

executive travel cincinnati

CLIENT RETENTION RATE

What our clients say about us.

executive travel cincinnati

Corporate Travel Manager

“For over ten years ACI Worldwide has been fortunate to partner with Executive Travel for its business travel needs. They have always provided professional, friendly service to our travelers while delivering cost savings to our company’s bottom line.

As ACI’s Corporate Travel Manager, I appreciate the way Executive Travel’s management listens to my needs with an open mind and delivers workable solutions quickly and efficiently. Their team approach to working with us has been key to our travel program’s success and I highly recommend them.”

executive travel cincinnati

“Now, more than ever, a strong relationship with your travel management company is a must! Executive Travel has always gone above and beyond. In my experience, they listen to customers’ needs, they tailor each program, and they “walk the talk” — always championing clients’ best interests!! Being incredibly flexible to support the industry, they are prepared to handle the new normal.”

executive travel cincinnati

Enterprise Travel Manager

“We continue to rely on Executive Travel to provide the most technological way of doing things.”

executive travel cincinnati

Travel & Expense Compliance Specialist

“Our partnership with Executive Travel supports our travel program and gives us access to discounted hotel pricing and negotiated rates for our preferred hotels. We’ve been able to reduce our spend on air travel and car rentals with our preferred vendors with the help of Executive Travel. In addition, our business travelers have direct access to an agent whenever they need it – whether they have to book a flight or are stuck at an airport and need to get home. This saves our travelers time and frustration.

We value Data Axle’s partnership with Executive Travel and look forward to our continued alliance.”

Category Manager – ROI

“Executive Travel has been a long-standing partner of ours for corporate travel management. I can’t say enough about the customer service and willingness to help our travelers at all costs. We are lucky to work alongside such a diligent, committed team!”

executive travel cincinnati

Christina M.

Travel & Expense Manager

“ETI has been a wonderful partner with GDT for all of our travel needs. They are available to help with anything I need as a travel manager and always very prompt. I would highly recommend them to anyone that is looking for an awesome travel management company relationship.”

executive travel cincinnati

(513) 922-4772

executive travel cincinnati

[email protected]

executive travel cincinnati

Cincinnati’s Affordable Elegance Since 1986 Serving the Greater Tri-State Area

Call us today!

COMMERCIAL SERVICES

With every ride, we offer the ultimate in affordability, comfort, reliability, and, most importantly, safety. We’re one of the few executive providers that can provide more than enough space to carpool with your co-workers or clients.

  • Tour services
  • Sales lunches
  • Corporate dinners
  • Business gatherings, presentations, and awards
  • Special event group shuttle service

executive travel cincinnati

CORPORATE GATHERINGS

We know how important it is to provide business travelers with reliable services. From finding your way around to navigating traffic to parking, getting from Point A to Point B can be tough. When you hire us, we do all of that, so you don’t have to. Our professional drivers can pick you up at the airport or anywhere else in the city in whatever type of vehicle you desire.

 Choose from limousines, party buses, or vans for the perfect ride to your corporate event.  Many of our vehicles are equipped with bar areas, and all of them can handle large groups, so it’s easy to bring your co-workers with you.

REGIONAL TRAVELING

Our drivers are professional, discreet, knowledgeable, and understand a business traveler’s needs. 

FREE ESTIMATE

Safe, prompt, and reliable executive travel.

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executive travel cincinnati

Executive Services Group

We’re driving business.

On time, every time.  We guarantee it

(859) 344-6800

[email protected].

ESG’s fleet is comprised of a wide range of luxury vehicles to accommodate all of your transportation needs. From the spacious interior of a Lincoln MKT Town Car to the economy and comfort of a 55-passenger charter bus, ESG’s professional drivers provide a luxurious commute to wherever you and your associates need to go.

executive travel cincinnati

Sedan: 3 Passengers

We offer late-model Lincoln MKT’s and Continentals. Providing comfortable seating for up to 3 passengers, these cars are air-conditioned, plush leather interior, dark-tinted windows, reading lights, and more.  Perfect for individuals and partner travel.

executive travel cincinnati

SUV's: 6 Passengers

Our spacious late-model Chevrolet Suburbans are perfect for a small group, families, and great for golf outings! Providing comfortable seating for up to 6 passengers with third row seating, these vehicles are air-conditioned, plush leather interior, dark-tinted windows, reading lights, and more. 

executive travel cincinnati

Corporate Vans: 8 Passengers

Our corporate vans offer a bit more space than an SUV. Providing comfortable seating for up to 8 passengers and room for luggage, these vehicles are air-conditioned, comfortable leather seating, dark-tinted windows, built in coolers and more. Perfect for corporate groups and long distant travel. Great for a night out on the town!

Sprinter Style Vans: 14 Passengers

Our 14 passenger, Sprinter style vans have quickly become our most popular. Perfect for group outings, wedding shuttles, and everything in between. We also use these for our Bourbon Tours!

executive travel cincinnati

Charter Buses: 30, 47 or 55 Passengers

We work with reliable motor coach vendors all over Cincinnati. We have built great relationships with these companies, and can work with them to give you the best price and service. Working together, we can provide 30, 47, and 55 passenger charter buses. 

Phone Number

Email Address

Toll Free:   866.437.4872

Local KY:   859.344.6800

Local OH:   513.322.0159

Fax:  866.437.4872

Email:   [email protected]

executive travel cincinnati

Serving the Tri-State

Executive Transportation

Photo of Executive Transportation - Newport, KY, US. You're A Professional. Your Ride Should Be, Too.

Review Highlights

Tara N.

“ Found this shuttle when I landed in the airport and needed to get to downtown Cincinnati . ” in 4 reviews

Location & Hours

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Map

1810 Monmouth St

Newport, KY 41071

Serving Newport Area

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Amenities and More

About the business.

Business owner information

Photo of Executive T.

Executive T.

Business Owner

Executive Transportation Service is the premier ground transportation company in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. Since its inception in 1961, Executive Transportation has been a family-owned and operated business and is now a third generation company. Our services consist of Luxury Private Car and SUV, Airport Shuttle Service, Charter Bus, Van Service, and Group Logistic Coordination. Our elite performance and customer-oriented, professional staff have helped us become an award-winning company and has made us the first choice for discerning clients. The strongest part of our reputation is our safety and reliability. We accomplished this reputation by providing safe, clean, new, and reliable vehicles, along with expertly trained drivers. All of our drivers must pass an extensive background check, criminal check, medical exam, drug test, and a rigorous training and safety programs. Our commitment to the highest level of service sets us apart among many of our competitors. …

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Photo of Jan K.

Our group of 20 Cincinnati golfers wanted to hire transportation and back for an an afternoon and evening event 45 miles north of town. It was an extremely busy week and NONE of the local or 'seemingly local' companies could offer us anything but a 54 passenger bus because the smaller vehicles were spoken for, and we needed room to transport our clubs as well. When I called Executive, they gave the same answer....UNTIL!!! Jaxon put his thinking cap on and solved our problem! To our extreme delight. Jaxon thought out of the box and suggested TWO 10 person vans with room for clubs, making 2 trips each. In other words, they drove us to our destination and sent another 2 vans eight hours later to pick us up which was PERFECT,. To our surprise, the cost was almost HALF the amount of renting a full size bus. The vans were clean, the drivers were professional and helpful. A big booyah for Executive Transportion of Newport KY!

Photo of David K.

Went on a 2 week vacation and could not have been more satisfied with this service. You think of parking rates at airport compared to executive service and the convience will definitely use them again They were on time picking us up at home. Heck they were 15 min early. And at the airport we only had to wait 5 min and they told us that. No messing with packing your car and unpacking at the airport lot. They pick you up at home load it. Then unload it at the departure area. Price is about the same. It's the convince that matters. Enjoy there service

executive travel cincinnati

Everyone throughout my experience was extremely nice and professional. It was my first time in Cincinnati, for the Flying Pig Marathon, and would definitely use this company again when traveling back to the city.

Photo of Chris V.

Fast service to van. After that hmmm Worst part it stinks terribly like cigarette smoke. The ironic part Sticker on van says no smoking. Must only be for passengers. Not drivers. Complaint will be sent to those who need to know Oh yea. Windows rattle like an old school bus

executive travel cincinnati

I was extremely impressed with the promptness of this service. They picked me up as requested and delivered me to my destination. The driver was courteous and friendly too. I recommend this service to anyone desiring transportation. The price was a little expensive but well worth the money.

Photo of Dessau11 ..

Pleasant driver, Randy. We took the scenic route through Ludlow to avoid an accident on I-75. With that said, I was not told to meet the van on the back side of my hotel, which left me watching another one of this company's vans load from the front of the hotel across the street, wondering if that was my ride. It wasn't. I called them and was then told the driver was waiting for me in back; this information would have been useful ahead of time. Moreover, we took a second passenger scheduled 15 minutes later, which was fine, though I was irritated when this person was dropped of first. And, I had to go, away from my airline drop off place, to the company desk with the driver to pay since I needed to use a credit card. Again, something that would have been useful ahead of time (I would have paid in advance had I known). They need to be more forthcoming with important information. I doubt I will use them again.

Photo of Rex B.

I have never needed a car service from CVG before, so I figured it would make sense to go to the airport's website to see who they recommended. Well, they had a link for only one company, and that is Executive Transportation. After clicking on the link to their website, I filled out a form to request a quote for a roundtrip to our hotel, and this involved filling in all of the flight times and details, as well as the address for the hotel. This was submitted to Executive Transportation five days before out arrival and... Nothing. No call back, no text, and no e-mail (and yes, I checked my spam folder). What a complete waste of my time. We ended up taking pretty crummy taxis both ways, so we will have to try something different next time.

Photo of Amy E.

We used Executive Transportation for our wedding, and booked both a bus to shuttle our guests from the hotel to the venue, as well as a black sedan (Cadillac) for our personal departure from the wedding. The team at Executive transportation was great to work with. They provided all-in rates that were charged to our credit card so we didn't have to worry about paying or tipping the driver. The bus was very nice, driver professional and most importantly, on schedule. The driver was on-time to all of our requested times and made several trips for us throughout the evening. We also had a nice surprise at the end of the evening when our Cadillac Sedan had been upgraded to an Escalade. This made for an even more memorable to a wonderful day and night. I would highly recommend Executive Transportation as their drivers and office associates were great to work with, vehicles were clean and well-kept and they provided very competitive pricing.

Photo of Priscilla S.

We have dealt with Executive Transportation for many years and can highly recommend them. They are professional, on time and easy to contract transportation with.

Photo of Jen O.

Executive Transportation took great care of my folks who were celebrating their 50th anniversary. I hired the car service to take them to Dayton for a special celebratory meal. Even though my parents' home is located more than an hour from the Executive office, the driver made his way there and was very courteous and professional. My father has trouble with his mobility and the driver was patient and helpful. After the service was billed to my credit card, I was surprised by the amount charged and contacted the company. ET responded quickly and explained the calculation of the fees. They even refunded me a portion of the bill because of the initial miscommunication. Excellent service!

4 other reviews that are not currently recommended

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Van Rentals in Cincinnati

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Passenger Van Rentals

Simply need timely and reliable transportation? Our passenger vans are perfect for a casual ride. Clean, comfortable, and affordable, our passenger van transportation services can accommodate groups of up to 14 people. Ready to reserve your ride? Contact Executive Transportation today.

About Passenger Vans

Capacity: 7 to 14 people options

Luxury Van

Luxury Van Rentals

Are class, comfort, and making lasting memories top-priorities for you? If so, our luxury van is what you need to arrive like a VIP. With the capacity to seat up to 12 passengers, our luxury van rentals are ideal for corporate meetings, group outings, wedding parties, and more. Contact Executive Transportation to reserve safe, reliable, and upscale transportation for your group.

About Luxury Vans

Capacity: 12 people Wifi available Leather seating

Executive Van Rentals For:

  • Employee Shuttle
  • Business Meetings
  • Corporate Events, Dinners or Celebrations
  • Group Outings
  • Wedding Transportation
  • Church Events
  • Volunteer Activities
  • Tours or Sightseeing Outings
  • Team-Building Activities
  • Airport Transportation

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Call Now: (502) 817-3647 — (888) 491-3919

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Dependable, Punctual

Reasonably priced, regional private car service with, no hidden charges, is easier than ever.

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Transportation, where is your destination.

For Online Booking, Rates, And Vehicle Options, Choose the Option Below That Best Suits Your Travel Needs

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Private Car Service

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Private Outings

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Shuttle Bus Service

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Kentucky Bourbon Trail Tours

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Executive Protection Transport

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Your Cincinnati Luxury Transportation Solution

Call us now to reserve your trip:

1 (513) 532-6088

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Destinations

Cincinnati and the Tri-state Area

We service the greater Cincinnati metro area as well having the extended coverage to get you to you destinations in Cleveland, Columbus, Lexington, Louisville and Indianapolis.

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Luxury Transportation at its best...

Our fleet of Luxury sedan s and SUVs are outfitted with your comfort and safety at the forefront of our goal to providing you with the unparalleled finest limousine experience available.

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Contact Provident Travel

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We're Ready to Plan Your Next Adventure

For Emergency assistance after 5pm and weekends call us at (800) 688-1712 and identify yourself as a Provident Travel client.

Harper's Station

11309 Montgomery Rd, Suite B Cincinnati , OH , 45249

513-247-1100

Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm

Hyde Park and Group Travel

3880 Paxton Ave, Suite P Cincinnati , OH , 45209

513-793-9500

Executive Jet Management

A NetJets Company. For Unparalleled Charter and Aircraft Management Solutions.

Our Charter Fleet

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Aircraft Management 

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An Industry Leader

years as the largest aircraft

management and charter company

MOST EXPERIENCED PILOTS

hours—average flight

experience of most EJM pilots

Large, DIVERSE FlEET

aircraft expertly

managed across the U.S.

Ultimate Access

airports across 120

countries and territories

Charter Travel Tips

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Learn how to make your charter travel experience go as smoothly as possible during record flight demand. 

See Our Travel Tips >

Explore Our Fleet

Heavy cabin charter jets

Long-Range Jets

Super-midsize jets, midsize jets, why choose ejm.

See what a partnership with EJM looks like >

Join the EJM Family

Explore career opportunities that are both personally and professionally rewarding.

See Job Openings >

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+1.800.451.2822

4556 Airport Road, Cincinnati, OH 45226

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Perfect For Every Occasion

Cvg airport / private aviation lunken airport.

Black 2021 Yukon XL

Yukon XL and Suburban XL fleet

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Meet Sprinter named "Emerald"

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Meet Sprinter named "2.0"

Our sprinter features.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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Bar and Ice

Clients enjoying our luxury sprinter coach service, contact to book.

[email protected] / 5746 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, OH 45243 / Tel: 859-393-6400 Copyright © 2021. E350 Transportation, Inc. All Rights Reserved | Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy

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2023 Gold Cup VVIP Cincinnati transportation provider

Jeimer Candelario, the Reds' big free agent signing, keeps making his mark

executive travel cincinnati

Last December, before the winter meetings, the Cincinnati Reds were plotting out their approach for the next few weeks of free agency. 

The Reds had already signed pitchers Nick Martinez and Emilio Pagán, and they didn’t have any more glaring needs on the 26-man roster. They already had a workable amount of depth in the infield, the outfield, the rotation and the bullpen.

The Reds already had Spencer Steer, Noelvi Marte and Christian Encarnacion-Strand as potential everyday third basemen. On paper, the Reds already had 10 projected every day position players. But the Reds wanted to keep adding.

“If we get Jeimer Candelario,” a team executive said, “We’ll make room.”

The Reds signed him to a three-year, $45 million contract because they believed that Candelario could win them games. He has had a big hand in the Reds’ terrific stretch over the last three weeks, and he provided the two biggest swings in a two-home run game on Wednesday.

All things Reds: Latest Cincinnati Reds news, schedule, roster, stats, injury updates and more.

Candelario drove in all four runs in a 4-2 Reds win at Great American Ball Park over the Cleveland Guardians. He gave the Reds an early lead with a solo homer in the first inning. Then in the sixth inning, with the Reds down by a run, Candelario delivered a three-run homer on one of his most important blasts of the season. 

"He single handedly won us the game," said Reds starting pitcher Nick Lodolo, who allowed two runs in six innings.

When the Reds weighed their options in free agency in December, they had a pretty simple reason why they liked Candelario.

The nine-year veteran has a long track record of being a good hitter. In three of the last four years, Candelario had been one of the 100-most valuable players in MLB, according to the Wins Above Replacement metric. 

In the sixth inning on Wednesday, Candelario showed the tools that have made him an impact big leaguer.

"(Experience) helps remind you that if you’ve done it, you’ve just got to go out there and keep working hard," Candelario said. "It’s going to be there, for sure."

On Wednesday, Guardians starting pitcher Tanner Bibee, a young pitcher who’s having a breakthrough season, looked like he was putting all of the pieces together against the Reds. He struck out 11 batters through 5 ⅓ innings. In the sixth inning, Bibee got to two strikes against Candelario on just the third pitch of the at-bat.

Candelario stayed alive, and he ended up turning in an eight-pitch at-bat. When Bibee finally left a changeup over the plate, Candelario pounced on it and gave the Reds the lead.

Just over a month ago, Candelario’s numbers were a long way from what’s usually on the back of his baseball card. On May 7, he had a .184 batting average in a Reds uniform as well as 38 strikeouts in 29 games.

Candelario had dealt with slow starts before in his career. Repeatedly, when asked about his struggles at the plate, Candelario was confident. 

“Just competing every day, the numbers will be there,” Candelario said. Then, he repeated and emphasized, “The numbers will be there.”

Since May 8, he’s hitting .295 with 18 extra-base hits in 30 games. Despite his poor start to the season, Candelario is tied for the team lead in doubles and home runs and ranks second in RBI. 

"Everything starts in the mind," Candelario said after his best game of the season. "Then it comes into the body. You want to be able to be the calmest you can be. You want good vibes. To create that, you have to have a routine and be solid with your routine. That routine will bring you your confidence. It’ll bring you everything you need to succeed."

Candelario backs up his performance with an experience level that’s rare in a very young Reds’ lineup. Aside from Candelario, the Reds’ lineup on Wednesday consisted of three players in their first full years as everyday players, three players in their second years as everyday players and two players in their fourth years as everyday players. 

When Candelario made his big league debut in 2016, Tyler Stephenson was in A-ball, and Jonathan India was in college. 

"Jeimer is a great clubhouse guy," Stephenson said. "He has been a huge mentor for Elly (De La Cruz). He’s an all-around positive guy. He comes to the field with a big smile on his face ready to play. He’s super level. Never too high, never too low. He comes into the day super positive. He’s in there working. He has a huge impact."

The Reds valued the impact that Candelario could make on a young team. When shortstop Elly De La Cruz was in a bad slump in May, Candelario told him, “If you can hit, you’re going to hit, brother.”

Candelario sets an example with his attention to detail in the defensive drills he does before every game. His steady demeanor helped stabilize a Reds team that could have had its season start to slip away in late May.

Candelario has been through what would be new experiences for a lot of his teammates. On Wednesday, he had the fifth multi-homer game of his MLB career. 

He continues to show why the Reds signed him. 

"I’ve always believed that at some point, you need a guy who has played every day for a long time to steady things and have those consistent at-bats," Reds catcher Luke Maile said. "We feed off of how constant his at-bats have been, even when he wasn’t getting the results. He’s an extremely consistent player and has been for a long time."

Golf

The two Pinehursts have not always seen eye to eye

PINEHURST, NORTH CAROLINA - JUNE 11: Ludvig Åberg of Sweden signs autographs for spectators prior to 124th U.S. Open Championship at Pinehurst No. 2 on June 11, 2024 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

  • Follow live coverage of the day-one rounds at the U.S. Open today

PINEHURST, N.C. — It can trick you, this place. It’s all so charming and whimsical, Mayberry turned golf mecca in the sandhills of North Carolina.

You stroll along the brick walking paths through the village, passing the two-story brick buildings filled with cute shops and quaint pubs. More than a million people travel here each year to this Disney World for idyllic golf-themed getaways.

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It can trick you into thinking you stumbled onto a golf oasis. Trick you into forgetting this place is a juggernaut, a resort, a full-on corporation with luxury hotels and cottages and 10 courses designed by renowned golf architects. Yes, it may have started with a pharmacy chain owner offering tuberculosis patients a chance to recover in a haven designed by the same man who designed Central Park. But the reasons a place begins are very rarely the same reasons that keep a destination thriving.

Now, Pinehurst Resort calls itself the cradle of American golf. The USGA announced it as the first of its new “anchor sites,” which will host U.S. Opens every 5-6 years for the next 30 years, beginning this week.

Pinehurst brought back the World Golf Hall of Fame. Its relationship with the town is strong and it’s a bucket-list destination for generations of recreational golfers. It is, for the foreseeable future, a central focal point marrying the casual and professional golf worlds.

But it wasn’t that long ago this place was climbing out of $70 million in debt, that it was at war with the people of this town and embroiled in countless lawsuits focusing on issues ranging from predatory management strategies to members feeling cheated.

And it wasn’t so long ago that a private detective who called himself “the Fat Man” had a poster of Pinehurst’s owner on a chair in front of his desk with a simple mission: “I just want this guy nailed to the wall.”

There’s a mantra Robert H. Dedman Jr. repeats at will: “Always Pinehurst, but always better.”

go-deeper

From the shadow of the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, a game-changer emerges

But progress doesn’t always go in a straight line. What began as a company town turned into something else when James W. Tufts hired Donald Ross as golf pro and formed Pinehurst No. 1 before completing his masterpiece — Pinehurst No. 2 — in 1907. Ross finished his fourth Pinehurst course before 1920 and the resort had become a premier golf destination with three inns. The town and the resort were so intertwined that resort employees were paid during the Depression in scrip redeemable only at Tufts-owned businesses. And it started its entry into pro golf circles, hosting the 1936 PGA Championship and 1951 Ryder Cup.

But in 1971, the Tufts family sold Pinehurst to Diamondhead Corporation, a real estate project owned by Malcom McLean that took a place rooted in tradition and lined the courses with condos and attempted to modernize the look of Ross’ design. Sacrilege. The prestige of the resort declined, as did its quality, and it compiled $70 million in debt by the time Diamondhead had to hand Pinehurst over to a consortium of eight banks in 1982.

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In came the savior, a moniker that became a point of contention for many.

Robert H. Dedman Sr. was the founder of ClubCorp, a Dallas-based corporation that made a killing buying distressed private golf and country clubs and rebuilding them. They eventually owned more than 200 properties around the world, and Dedman Sr. was a billionaire often named by Golf Digest as one of the most important people in golf. He was a charming, self-made man from Arkansas who successfully branded himself as something between a capitalist and a romantic.

“The first time I stood in front of the clubhouse and looked out on all those ribbons of fairway, I got tears in my eyes,” Dedman Sr. told Sports Illustrated in 1999. “I had always venerated Pinehurst for its place in the history of golf, and when I finally saw it I knew instantly that we would take this fallen angel and make it not as good as it was, but better than it had ever been.”

Always Pinehurst, but always better. But better usually comes with costs. Capitalism is a game of winners and losers, and progress often leaves others behind.

Pinehurst was the crown jewel of ClubCorp’s empire, and Dedman Sr. made good on those dreams by restoring tradition and returning Pinehurst to its rightful place in the sport. In fact, he elevated it.

Fifteen years and $100 million after buying it, the 1999 U.S. Open came to Pinehurst. Dedman Sr. died in 2002, but Dedman Jr. (known as Bob) was running much of the company by the 1990s. It hosted the U.S. Open again in 2005. The Dedmans sold ClubCorp in 2006 but kept Pinehurst as their baby, and after a successful restoration it made history by holding the men’s and women’s U.S. Opens in consecutive weeks in 2014. The men’s tournament went 10 years without returning, but with its new anchor site designation Pinehurst has successfully cemented its place at the forefront of American golf.

That build, though, came with pushback. Starting in 1991 and carrying on through 2000, as much as 55 percent (more than 3,000) of Pinehurst members contributed to legal funds for a lawsuit claiming the club brought in too many outsiders, denied them agreed upon access to tee times and improperly raised membership fees.

In 1990, ClubCorp sold its stake in nearby Pinewild Country Club to Japanese cookie maker Tohato Inc. with a deal for Tohato to pay ClubCorp to manage it. By 1996, Tohato sued ClubCorp because it felt hoodwinked, claiming the latter used Pinewild as inexpensive overflow courses for guests paying to stay next door at Pinehurst Resort. Tohato officials also claimed ClubCorp tried to purposely mismanage the property to force Tohato to want out and sell back to Pinehurst at a fraction of the original cost.

Things turned dramatic when Tohato hired the celebrity private detective William Graham to help with the case. Graham was an eccentric who appeared on “Late Night with David Letterman” and “20/20” and was in talks with studios to produce a movie about his life. Graham pursued ClubCorp so hard they ultimately sued him for libel. And in the meantime Graham caused the Dedmans constant headaches.

In 1997, Graham sent out faxes across the country detailing 33 alleged “civil and criminal violations” against ClubCorp. He was quoted in South Carolina’s The State newspaper calling Dedman Sr. and his company, “a bunch of backstabbing, corkscrewing, double-dealing, lying, cheating, stealing (SOBs).”

All of this ClubCorp of course used in its libel case, which was folded into a seven-figure settlement paid by Tohato to ClubCorp. But those faxes led to major outlets like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times investigating and publishing large pieces painting ClubCorp in an unflattering light. In the two years before the U.S. Open, at least seven of the company’s 70 country clubs were involved in lawsuits against ClubCorp filed by either members homeowners or a co-owner, per the New York Times. (ClubCorp eventually pulled out of its management arrangement at Pinewild, telling members in a letter it had “been placed in a position that makes it impossible to do our job.”)

So when Pinehurst hosted the 1999 U.S. Open — what was supposed to be Dedman Sr.’s crowning achievement — he instead sat with Sports Illustrated for a profile on how such a beloved figure was suddenly disliked by so many around the club.

“Just because we have a great reputation, people think that if they make a few grandiose statements we’ll cave in and pay their blackmail,” Dedman Sr. told SI. “We can’t afford to do that. We have had people go to obnoxious lengths to try to get a settlement. We have zero tolerance for that behavior. Our philosophy, to quote one of our former Presidents, is millions for defense but not one cent for tribute.”

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But the public relations issues for Pinehurst really took over when the battles started with the townspeople. In 1995, a Pinehurst resident named Edmund Dietrich wrote a letter to The Pilot, the local paper in Southern Pines, saying tips given to resort employees were being withheld. Dietrich was sued for libel, though ClubCorp later dropped it. Then, ClubCorp reportedly threatened local businesses for using Pinehurst in their names, citing trademark infringement. It claimed Pinehurst was only the name of the resort and facilities, and that the town was the “Village of Pinehurst.”

ClubCorp lawyer Stephen Trattner famously said: “I don’t believe there is a Pinehurst, N.C. You may call it that, and the mail may get there that way, (but) you don’t live in Pinehurst. You live in the Village of Pinehurst.”

Dedman Sr. had created an environment in which members and guests were treated like royalty, with staff remembering their favorite cocktails and making sure to use their name at least four times a trip, but the people who lived in the town — a town founded to help people get healthy — felt alienated. Pinehurst Business Guild became the Village of Pinehurst Business Guild. Companies like Pinehurst Interiors had to change their name to Village Design Group, which still stands today.

If Dedman Sr. was the charming personality who could light up a room, Bob Jr. was the hard-nosed, forward-thinking CEO who, his father admitted, was a more organized executive. But if at the time Dedman Jr. was labeled as a bottom line executive pushing for growth, he’s also been the one overseeing its public rehabilitation.

go-deeper

U.S. Open Big Board: After Scottie Scheffler, how does the field stack up at Pinehurst?

Another funny thing about progress is success tends to mend most wounds. Pinehurst has become more and more of a powerhouse in the world of golf, bringing millions and millions of tourism dollars to the area each year. Dedman Jr. founded a local Boys & Girls Club chapter in Pinehurst in 1999 and now receives local hospitality awards. While the mayor back in 1999 was calling his father arrogant and a bully, former Pinehurst mayor Nancy Roy Fiorillo (2011-2019) raved about all the good Dedman Jr. does and how great Pinehurst Resort is for the town.

“Bob Dedman Jr. is Doing All the Good He Can” was the headline of a story in The Pilot last week. Similar pieces have been written by Global Golf Post and PineStraw Magazine. Maybe some of it is from the ClubCorp sale — it’s far easier to be magnanimous proprietors when you’re running one iconic club and not a conglomerate fighting for every little margin.

What’s clear is Pinehurst is now thriving. More than 12 million Americans have traveled to play golf each of the past two years, up about 20 percent over the historical average, according to the National Golf Foundation. Pinehurst attracts a large chunk of that.

Every resort is trying catch up to it, a place that can boast both incredible history with everyone from Bobby Jones to Tiger Woods having played here, mixed with constant innovation and new courses. The restoration of No. 2 by the architect team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw took the already famous course to new heights by removing rough and leaving tough, sandy areas off the fairways. Gil Hanse’s redesign of No. 4 has boosted it in significance. All of the top designers of past and present have contributed to one course or another.

And the resort keeps pushing itself off the course, turning an abandoned steam plant into a brewery and refurbishing the clubhouse with lush new digs for members. They expanded the Deuce Grill, restored one inn and renovated another. All of that on top of the USGA’s new Golf House Pinehurst and the World Golf Hall of Fame, which returned from St. Augustine, Fla.

The Dedmans tried to ensure that it was always about Pinehurst but always making it better, and they’ve continued to push and push to a point it seems unstoppable going forward. And now, the conversation of the week is entirely about the course and how great it will be to watch. Not the issues of the past.

They couldn’t pin the Dedmans to the wall.

(Top photo: Tracy Wilcox / PGA Tour via Getty Images)

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Brody Miller

Brody Miller covers golf and the LSU Tigers for The Athletic. He came to The Athletic from the New Orleans Times-Picayune. A South Jersey native, Miller graduated from Indiana University before going on to stops at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Indianapolis Star, the Clarion Ledger and NOLA.com. Follow Brody on Twitter @ BrodyAMiller

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