News 12 at This Morning / Monday, April 9, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The patrons packed and left Augusta, but they left a lot of cash behind. This week, the local shops and hotels are counting all that cash.
Armed with purses packed with plastic and cash, patrons were ready to spend their money at this year's Masters.
"Well, I spent some money on some things for grandkids, my kids, me in the store there," said Joe Kinzer of Edmond, Okla.
They were willing to spend hundreds, even thousand of dollars.
"Probably close to thousand dollars," said one patron.
While another said, "Six or seven hundred dollars."
Most of that dough was dropped at the golf shop.
"They are just like any other retailer in town. That one week out of the year, people are buying things at the Augusta National and they are paying local and state taxes," said Peggy Seiglar with the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Those tax dollars go straight to the city's general funds. Seiglar says the worldwide recognition Augusta receives this one week out of the year brings in big business.
"We have no idea how many people come to visit; we just know it's a lot," she said.
Many of those people are here on bills footed by their company.
"I think the economy is picking up a bit and corporate response," said one patron.
Whether it's corporations or patrons paying up, hotels, private golf courses, restaurants and gas stations all see the trickle-down effect.
David Bernd, traveled from Virginia Beach, Va.
"I had to pay for transportation to get here and rental car and spent quite a bit of money at the Masters for souvenirs," he said.
This year hotels are projecting they surpassed their occupancy rate. During a normal week, hotel occupancy is usually at 56 percent.