News 12 at six o'clock -- January 8, 2010
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Less than twenty-four hours after the official ribbon cutting for the newest hotel on Washington Road, and already business is booming.
Sheraton Hotel sales director Susanna Eller says being right off of the busy Washington Road makes theirs the perfect location to bring in Masters traffic.
“We opened our doors on December 4th, but we were actually already booked for Masters by the time we opened the hotel,” she says. “Washington Road is extremely close to here and there are a lot of hotels, but none of them like us.”
Before the Sheraton, the Marriott was the last full service hotel built in Augusta, and that was back in 1992. And with this and two more hotels built since last year's Masters, the Augusta Convention and Visitor's bureau says that's good news for the city.
“The hotel business has been good this year,” says Barry White, bureau president. “To have two or three hotels being built in a community the size of ours is a very good sign.”
And those new hotels mean more people -- six hundred more, according to White.
“They're paying sales tax, which in the long run helps keep our tax base down,” he says.
And according to the Augusta Chamber of Commerce, with private house rentals also on the rise because more corporations are heading back to Masters this year, White expects more money to come into Augusta.
“The more people we have here in our city, the better time they have and the longer they stay here, the more money they'll spend,” he says.
And with three hundred new rooms, more money goes into hotels, and more of that tax money comes straight back to the city.
“Hotels contribute 9.4 million dollars into our local tax base directly by their business,” White says.
And that's something everyone can rest easy about.
Both White and Eller tell News 12 hotel prices during Masters are the classic case of supply and demand, and that room prices will definitely go up that week.