News 12 First at Five, June 27, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga---News of Augusta's Golf and Gardens closing this Saturday has foot traffic at the tourist attraction unusually steady.
"I wanted to be sure I saw it before it closed," David McIntyre says.
Although some people are pledging financial support, marketing director Robin Jarrett says the staff is preparing for the worst.
Meantime, local leaders are still scrambling to save the gardens. A volunteer committee is asking 100 businesses to pledge one thousand dollars each. They are hoping to raise $100,000 to offer temporary relief.
"One hundred thousand dollars is not enough to maintain the gardens," Jarrett says.
Jarrett says maintaining the gardens each year costs a lot more than most people realize. Here is a breakdown of the major expenditures.
Georgia Golf Hall of Fame board members say they are open to combining the gardens with a new downtown stadium. But since stadium plans are still preliminary, the board says they can't continue to operate waiting on that possibility.
Board chairman Brad Persons tells News 12 they expect to close the gates to the public Saturday, but will try to maintain the gardens landscape until August, when the baseball feasibility study is expected to be complete.