North Augusta working to get ready for Peach Jam
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Peach Jam is back this weekend and so are the fans for the first time since 2019.
The event is expected to bring $6 million to our area.
It’s the third biggest sporting event locally, only behind the Masters and the Ironman competition.
More people coming into town means more people spending money at hotels and restaurants.
Peach Jam is always a busy week for restaurants in downtown North Augusta, and with spectators back for the first time since COVID things will be busy in the kitchen.
“We’ll probably do like 250 for lunch, 300 for dinner,” says Josey Wells, sous chef, Manuel’s Bread Café. “Normally we’ll be like maybe like 150 for lunch and about the same for dinner.”
As spectators return, those numbers could be even higher, and preparation starts early.
“Someone comes in early, and they just have to take a look at how much we have on the reservations and kind of go off of that,” says Wells.
Between restaurants and hotels, North Augusta Parks, Recreation, and Tourism anticipate the total economic impact will be about six to eight million dollars, including more than 6,000 hotel stays, like at the Lookaway Inn.
John Felak, owner of Lookaway Inn, said: “Peach Jam is always a great week for us. I mean we still have a few openings left, but we’re almost sold out.”
Rolling out the welcome mat for players, coaches, fans, and families keeps hotels and Bed & Breakfasts bustling.
“It’ll be a little more staff hours this particular week because of all the people,” says Felak. “So, for us, that’s a little more work but it’s certainly worth it.”
He says last year, despite Peach Jam not having spectators, they saw their best week of the year. As the audience comes back, so does the business.
“We expect more of the same. We have some returning guests from some of the people that were has last year,” Felak says.
This event runs from July 17 through July 24, so it should be a busy week in North Augusta.
“I think it’ll bring a lot more people out to eat,” says Felak. “It’ll probably increase by maybe 50 to 60 percent.”
Peach Jam gets rolling Sunday at 9:30 a.m. at the Riverview Activities Center.
The younger groups are the first to tip-off.
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