ALVISO, Calif. - The high tech golfing experience Topgolf will officially open its first Bay Area location on Friday and with the grand opening comes 600 new jobs.
It’s a big project for the small community of Alviso. Topgolf was set to open this time last year but the opening was delayed due to the pandemic.
Alviso in North San Jose is a historic neighborhood touching the San Francisco Bay. Alviso is known for its natural wildlife and scenic views. Soon, it will be known for something else.
"We’re extremely excited for this to finally happen here," said Travis Miller, Topgolf Director of Operations.
It will be home to Topgolf, a mix of golf, high tech, entertainment, dining, and a wine lounge.
"Being so close to Napa, Sonoma and Paso Robles, we are able to get our hands on some nice different wine," said Miller.
Topgolf is also close to tech employees in Silicon Valley. The company chose Alviso for the land. The venue sits on 20 acres.
It features three levels with 120 hitting bays outdoors. It was five years in the making. Topgolf is taking extra precautions with Covid, limiting capacity, reservations and masks are required.
"We’re scaling our reservations daily," said Miller. "We are allowing five reservations every 15 minutes."
"We are just coming out here to have fun with our friends," said Christian Barrera of San Jose. "We know this place opened up. We just want to check it out."
Barrera felt safe during the soft opening.
"I’m not much of a golfer but anytime anyone wants to create 600 jobs in my city, I’m thrilled," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. "We really need it at a time like this."
City leaders said it will help San Jose come back from the crippling pandemic.
Some residents have expressed concerns. Back in 2017, a lawsuit was filed that the mayor said was later dismissed over noise and traffic.
"The land developers are being aggressive and working on expanding the width of the roads and adding more traffic lights which I think will make the road a safer place down the road," said Miller.
There are also worries Alviso will lose its small town character.
"I’m confident this is not going to change the distinctive character of the Alviso community," said Liccardo. "It’s going to be a great amenity and provide a lot of jobs in a community that needs those jobs and frankly our entire city needs those jobs."
Topgolf is still hiring, about two thirds done. With more than 60 locations around the world, the Alviso location is not only the first in the Bay Area but one of the largest.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.