News 12 at 6 o'clock, April 13, 2009
AUGUSTA---The Masters is over. Some folks are breathing a sigh of relief that traffic is back to normal, while others are just sad the greatest spectacle in golf is done for the year. Business owners are checking their wallets to see how much money they made.
A lot of folks were worried that the economy would take a serious slice out of Masters week profits. As it turns out, it may not have been as bad as expected.
For most business in the Augusta area, there are 2 money-making holidays in the year: Christmas and Masters.
T-Bones manager Tyler Wiley says this year wasn't too shabby.
"Relatively wonderful. We were busy and stayed busy." But that doesn't mean things were quite as good as in past years. "I would say yes to that. It was definitely down a bit, but we maintained." Tyler replied.
"Pretty steady." That's what manager Zach Brather said about business across Washington Road at Marcellas Fine Cigars and Tobaccos.
But that doesn't mean there were record-breaking sales either.
"The owner said it was down a little bit without a doubt" Zach said.
12 On Your Side talked to a number of businesses of all types over the past week and we got the same message for the most part. The numbers were down, but not tremendously.
Columbia County's Tourism and Visitors Bureau says hotels in the county had an average of an 89% occupancy rate. Roughly the same as last year.
Numbers in Richmond and Aiken County weren't available.
In the end, people like Tyler Wiley are breathing a sigh of relief because they know it could have been worse.
"It went well. I couldn't be more pleased."