News 12 at 11 o'clock, April 9, 2009
AIKEN, S.C.---Plenty of Masters guests stay across the river in Aiken Thursday night they tried a Par-Tee event. Its a chance for stores to stay open late and try to cash in.
People are Par-Teeing in downtown Aiken. Shops are open later and a hole in one on a putting green will earn you extra discounts.
It's good for business and for golf fans, like out of towners Tom and Nancy Murphy.
"We enjoy this little Par-Tee thing they're having with all the putting. We stopped at all the shops and we're having a good time," says Tom.
Lately the economy has been singing the blues, so the Aiken Downtown Development Association decided to get into the golf theme and give local businesses a hand.
"I think it was just good timing with the economy the way it is because it is giving a boost," says the Executive Director of the ADDA, Carla Cloud.
Downtown businesses say their pleased with the number of people who are putting, all for a good price.
"We've had a strong week. We love Masters week and we look forward to it," says Cathy Bland at the Tea Garden Gifts.
"Definitely this has been a better week and we feel this will be a great evening for us than normal because of the extra excitement," adds Cloud.
The after six event is exciting for locals and visitors and they've even seen customers from some interesting places.
"Business has slowly picked up throughout the week which we have been very pleased with we've got people from all over the world coming to Aiken to spend some money," says Lucy Scoville owner of the Sweet Cow Creamery.
And they say the timing is perfect, catching Masters fans as they come off the course. "They're hungry, their coming downtown to eat and they like to shop. I think it's really smart," says Bland.
So while Tom and Nancy spend some green, others are hoping it keeps rolling in. "I think it is a smart idea, I think it's well organized and it's a lot of fun and it brings people downtown, there's nothing wrong with that," says Tom.
Now the Downtown Development Association does try to do themed nights like this to get people downtown once a quarter. You can expect the next one sometime this summer.