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Hotels, traffic engineers put finishing touches on Masters preps

News 12 First at 5, April 2, 2010

AUGUSTA, Ga.---The spotlight is about to fall on Augusta. We're just days away from the Masters, and the clock is ticking for all those finishing touches.

Everyone along Washington Road is gearing up for a busy weekend-- especially when it comes to traffic in and around those hotels.

People are rolling into Augusta as we speak. Traffic is starting to pick up and many people, including hotel managers, call Friday the calm before the storm.

The countdown is on...are you ready for the masters? "It wouldn't hurt me to have another few days, but we'll be there," says Stan Creswell, the General Manager for Augusta's Hampton Inn.

Hotels around town have been waiting for this weekend for months, so you can bet they're excited.

"It's a lot of hard work, but we have fun. The guests that come in for it, they're in a festive mood, they're here for a good time and we're ready for them," says Creswell.

"The people that come into town are really nice, we enjoy them. It's one of the best times of the year," adds Linda Gregory, the General Manager for Augusta's Sleep Inn.

They say Friday might be a little dead, but just give it a few hours. Some hotels say they make more in this one week than they do in one month.

"Today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) will be pretty calm but then Sunday...It goes crazy," says Gregory.

This year the added guests have the city adding traffic changes around town. In the mornings patrons will be using Stanley Drive, instead of Berckmans to park. And no more cutting through Alexander Drive to get to and from Washington Road.

The city says if you're trying to avoid the mess all together, your best bet will be to use River Watch Parkway. Of course, everyone-- including the hotels has a plan.

"We've been planning for a while, and now it's time to execute it," says Creswell.

With a touch of golf here, and a new TV there...everyone is putting their best foot forward. "You want it to look good because it represents the whole town of Augusta," says Gregory.

Even though the week will sure mean long hours, these hotels are up for the challenge. "Hard work-- I'll probably work 16 hours a day or more that week but it's fun," says

"You want them to like it so much they come back some times besides masters," says Gregory.

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