Augusta businesses prepare for visitors ahead of Ironman

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 6:48 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Businesses across Augusta are getting ready for everyone coming to town for the Ironman competition.

Thousands are expected to visit for one of the city’s biggest events. One of the ways businesses are preparing is by offering deals all weekend.

The deals aren’t just for visitors but even for volunteers.

The Augusta Sports Council says it’s a way to show what Augusta has to offer and say thanks to the volunteers.

We spoke to some local business owners participating and they say they’re happy to be a part of the weekend and anticipate a big crowd.

“Events like these are huge for us because it helps us grow,” said Phillip Weizner, co-owner at Ubora Coffee Roasters.

Ubora Coffee Roasters has participated in the initiative for the last three years.

Weizner says between visitors and locals, events like this help the business boom.

“Ironman generates a lot for us. It brings a lot of volunteers. People are coming down early to get in and ready and prepare for the races,” he said.

Stores are participating too, some for the first time, like Field Botanicals. Owner Jennifer Tinsley says partnerships like these are important for growing small businesses.

“In a small community, these partnerships really mean a lot, and being open on a Sunday and having customers come through is a big impact for the small businesses. I think it’s really great.”

The Augusta Sports Council says 18 local businesses are participating in the initiative. They hope to show more than 2,500 competitors what the city has to offer.

CEO, Augusta Sports Council Michelle Pippin said: “It helps show our athletes and their friends and families that Augusta is rolling out the southern hospitality for them. It’s little things like this that make Augusta unique.”

Local business owners say they are grateful for that opportunity.

Weinzer said: “Events like these are huge for us because it helps us grow.”

Tinsley said: “People are coming from all over the world just to explore the downtown and show off what we have in downtown Augusta and I think that’s a really great opportunity.”

Both business owners say it helps them spread the word about their business as they can take products home or ship them after the race.

The sports council says business owners can reach out to them for a chance to participate in next year’s event.