Nike Peach Jam brings money to Augusta area

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News 12 at 6:00, July 13, 2008

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. --- It's been a busy weekend for Jackie Drummond. She works at the Courtyard in Augusta where she's seen a lot of basketball players in town for the Nike Peach Jam.

"It's a plus. It's definitely a plus with the economy being the way it is right now," Jackie Drummond said.

It's the 13th year for the tournament in North Augusta. It brings in the best high school basketball players in America. All in search of college scholarship money. And it's not just the players that are in town. There's coaches from all over the country sitting on the sidelines evaluating the talent on the court.

"Peach Jam brings people into town, it puts people in beds, people in restaurants, and people in the stores. It affects the economic impact of the CSRA," Rick Meyer said.

Thousands are in town. 40 teams total. You have players, coaches, officials, college coaching staffs, and parents from as far as Detroit, Miami, even California. And they all need a place to stay.

"As far as the ratings, it helps us. And we're glad to see them come in. Because we don't like to be slow," Drummond said.

And she didn't have to worry about being slow this summer. She says the basketball teams started booking their hotel rooms more than a month ago. But the cash flow doesn't stop there.

"Business has been great. A lot of people have been coming in. All the coaches come in, the players, fans as well. The locals come around just to see them, so it's pretty good," Jon Wiley said.

He says TBONZ Steakhouse is packed out almost every night of the Peach Jam.

"The Peach Jam has really been good for us. And we've had fun with them. A lot of the people traveling from all over the place," Drummond said.

It's a fight on the court, that is already a big victory for Augusta. The Nike Peach Jam tournament runs until Tuesday at the Riverview Park Activities Center in North Augusta.

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