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Hospitality industry hopes Augusta can bounce back after fall Masters

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 11:13 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - During the week of the Masters tournament, there isn't a single bed left empty at hotels like the Lookaway Inn. This year might be the first time some of these beds stay made.

“The Masters is the big one. That’s the key to our business model for the year and a significant portion of our income,” John Felak, keeper for the Lookaway Inn, said.

A big one. For most in the businesses in Augusta, that’s an understatement.

According to the Augusta Visitors Bureau, during the month of April, the Masters creates three times more revenue for hotels and motels.

“For our company, it could be a $150,000 hit. It would be multiple jobs and it reaches just farther than us,” Clay Brewer, owner of Rent Augusta, said.

Brewer says it's a hit to the people working to get Augusta in tip top shape – looking and feeling the best.

“In a normal year, it would be very hectic. We’d have a lot of people moving around -- from landscapers to painters, to caterers, to everything you can think of,” he said.

But both Felak and Brewer agree that the decision to close the Masters to patrons was just a matter of time.

“When they announced the us open was not going to have people viewing it, I thought we might be-- we might have an issue here,” Felak said.

But Brewer, an Augusta native, says he's seen this city bounce back from many things. And he's hoping it's the same after a very unusual 2020 Masters.

“Augusta is a vibrant city. We have a lot to offer. I think if these people pull together, we can-- we can do anything.”

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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