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RTJ’s 20TH ANNIVERSARY — Blazing a Trail across Alabama: Bronner turned state into golfing mecca

This year, Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is celebrating its 20th year, and its impact on the state’s economy and image the last two decades stretches in every conceivable direction.

But when the Trail placed plaques at its seven original locations in 1992-93, it listed one key objective as changing tourism. That mission has been accomplished … on a grand scale.

“I think it has made a difference in Alabama,” said Dr. David Bronner, CEO of Retirement Systems of Alabama and Trail founder. “What we try to do is to have something that other people would come and enjoy and stop in Alabama as opposed to passing through Alabama.

“We took tourism from roughly a $1.8 billion industry and it’s now about a $10.2 billion industry, so Alabama’s about $8 billion ahead per year.”

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