Augusta prepares for Masters

By: Lynnsey Gardner Email
By: Lynnsey Gardner Email

March 27, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---The Masters is one of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the world...and preparations for the year's first major tournament are in full swing.

It's a weeklong event that takes months of planning to pull off.

"The last 30 days before Masters Week is our busiest time," said Lewis Blanchard of Executive Marketing Services. "We'll probably be less busy during the tournament than we are right now."

They're lining the tables, fencing off their yards and marking the streets.

Blanchard's company is working around the clock to make sure things run smoothly, which can be difficult when you have to move a thousand clients in and out of town for the tournament.

"When you're moving a thousand people in one week from four different airports--because we cover Augusta, Atlanta, Columbia and Charlotte--there are going to be glitches that occur," Blanchard said.

Helping to minimize traffic glitches is Steve Cassell. He's with Augusta's traffic engineering department. They've been out for weeks placing signs all over town.

"My guys have been doing this for awhile," he said. "I think they could almost do it in their sleep."

The department's efficiency is paying off, with almost everything in place and ready to go.

"Everything should be finished and up as far as the signage," Cassell said. "The changeable message boards should be here by Sunday night, and we will start implementing signal timing plans first thing Monday morning."

It's a lot of work with a big payoff all the way around.

"I think for Augusta it's great," Blanchard said. "It's our thirteenth month of business. It allows everybody to do all that extra spring cleaning that they might put off for another year, but they do it for the Masters. The city gets cleaned up, and it's just a really exciting atmosphere. Deal with a little bit of traffic, pretend like you live in Atlanta for a week, and you can make the best of it."

As of now, the traffic engineering department says they don't plan on closing any major roadways.

Stay tuned to News 12 for complete Masters coverage. And if you miss anything, you can find it on our Masters page, along with all the information you'll need for the tournament.


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