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Rail City residents help make RTO go
by Dan Eckles
Aug 01, 2013 | 1942 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Lisa Anderson is the General Manager at Montreux Golf and Country Club and has seen the club host 13 RTO's under her watch.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Lisa Anderson is the General Manager at Montreux Golf and Country Club and has seen the club host 13 RTO's under her watch.
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Tribune photo by John Byrne - Sparks resident and 1997 Sparks High graduate Candee Candler is the Director of Marketing and Special Events for the Reno-Tahoe Open.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Sparks resident and 1997 Sparks High graduate Candee Candler is the Director of Marketing and Special Events for the Reno-Tahoe Open.
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Tribune photo by John Byrne - Montreux golf professional Chad Munoz is working at his eighth Reno-Tahoe Open.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Montreux golf professional Chad Munoz is working at his eighth Reno-Tahoe Open.
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Tribune photo by John Byrne - WCSO Deputy Troy Cranmer directs traffic Thursday near the clubhouse at Montreux Golf and Country Club.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - WCSO Deputy Troy Cranmer directs traffic Thursday near the clubhouse at Montreux Golf and Country Club.
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It's 20 miles from Victorian Square in Sparks to Bordeaux Drive where Montreux Golf and Country Club sits at the base of Mount Rose. That's a little more than a stone's throw from the Rail City, but that doesn't mean Sparks residents can't enjoy the PGA's Reno-Tahoe Open, which is making its home at Montreux Golf and Country this week.

In fact, in addition to the thousands of spectators that line the golf course during tournament week every year, more than a handful of which live in Sparks, many local residents make the event go. After 15 years, the RTO is a well-oiled machine with its staff, PGA Tour officials, Montreux staff and a few hundred volunteers helping the event go off without a hitch.

Here's a quick look at a few Sparks residents playing key roles at the RTO this week.

Lisa Anderson is the General Manager at Montreux and runs the daily operations of the club. Country Club members at Montreux effectively give up their course for a week during its peak playing season. She helps make sure they still enjoy tournament week.

"We at Montreux really look forward to the tournament. We embrace it," she said. "But it's a delicate dance. We want to make sure the members are happy and we do have a PGA Tour event here. It's an exciting change of pace."

Anderson has overseen Montreux's role with the RTO for the past 13 years. She said her staff has a pretty good grasp on how to handle the event with more than a decade under its belt of experience. She said like anything, the more you do something, the better you get at it.

"It's fun. I feel like our staff has a good system since we've been doing it so long," she said. "The biggest challenge is for our golf staff and our golf course staff."

Anderson makes the near hour-long trek from her home in Spanish Springs to the Montreux community every day during the RTO and five or more times a week the rest of the year. Still, she says she's used to the commute now and it can have its perks during busy times like the RTO.

"It's just what I do," she said. "The drive to the course gives you some time to mentally prepare for the day and the return trip is a time to decompress, a time to get ready to be a wife and mom and cook dinner. The commute is just part of the day."

Another Spanish Springs-area resident is traveling to Montreux for work this week and she too is a key cog for the RTO. Candee Candler lives in Sparks, is a 1997 Sparks High graduate and is the RTO's Director of Marketing and Special Events.

She's been a full-time member of the tournament staff for the past four years and revels in tournament week.

"This week has some early mornings and late nights, but really, it's what we work the other 51 weeks of the year for. It's like giving birth. It's a lot of work, but it's exciting."

Candler is in charge of setting up special events throughout the year and during the RTO to promote Reno's annual PGA tour stop. This week in particular she's organized the pro-am and the pairings party. It's also her job to get the next day's pairing sheets set at the end of each round and printed overnight so they're ready for distribution the following morning.

Most people's nightmares may be comprised of falling from heights, fighting off monsters or escaping from something scary in the dark, but not Candler.

"At the end of the day, I might freak out," she quipped. "I've had nightmares about the pairing sheets and getting facts messed up. You can stress out. This is the RTO and we're putting Reno on the map, but also, it's a golf tournament and we're doing great things."

Chad Munoz is doing some great things at the RTO too. The Montreux golf professional and Sparks resident plays an integral role in taking care of the PGA Tour players while they're calling Montreux home this week.

During the practice rounds and before the tournament starts Thursday, Munoz helps serve as a liaison between the golf companies — Nike, Calloway and Taylor Made. Later in the week, he helps oversee the locker room area, making sure players have their privacy in that venue as well as tending to their equipment needs regarding everything from shoes to clubs and incoming packages.

Munoz says he'll work from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. during RTO week, often racking up more than 100 hours during the hectic seven days, but despite the long days, he enjoys tournament time.

"It's definitely something I look forward to," Munoz said. "It's a change of pace. It's really cool to get some insight into the players' lives. You can hear them talk about the course and their strategy and their families, the whole spectrum."

The RTO couldn't go off without adequate security on site. In addition to private security and some volunteers, the Washoe County Sheriff's Office has a definite presence at Montreux during tournament week. Sparks resident and WCSO Deputy Troy Cranmer has been working the tournament since its second year, in 2000.

"I look forward to this assignment and interacting with the community," said Cranmer, whose regular assignment is patrolling the county's roads and highways. "Most people here are having a good time and are good to work with. People are here to enjoy the tournament and they monitor themselves."

Cranmer has only missed working the RTO in 1999, its inaugural year. So he's seen the event grow and evolve.

"Our job is to make the spectators and golfers feel comfortable while they're out here," he said. "Our agency has seen the tournament grow and we've grown with it."

One aspect that gives the Reno-Tahoe Open a truly unique northern Nevada feel is the many booths and local businesses that set up shop during the week. One of those stops is a food and beverage booth run by Roundabout Catering.

On Thursday, the booth was being manned by student volunteers from Bishop Manogue High School. Sierra Butler will be a senior at Manogue when the school opens its doors on a new school year later this month but this week she's been helping the booth run smoothly.

"It's my first year working out here at the RTO, but I like it. It's fun," said Butler, who is also a Roundabout Catering employee. "I like talking to all the people. It's cool. This is different. I'm usually inside, working weddings or birthday events. This is the first time I've done something like this.

"You get to meet different people, and hopefully, bring in more business. There's more people today and it will get better as the weekend comes."

From golf course administrator to food and beverage employees, Sparks residents are getting around at the Reno-Tahoe Open. The RTO wraps up Sunday with final-round coverage. Complete scoring and other tournament information is available at RenoTahoeOpen.com.
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