What will happen with the Masters: How the question is affecting local rental businesses

Thursday, March 12, 2020
News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

Many locals rent out their homes every year during the Masters tournament to accommodate for the mass travelers that flood Augusta. However, some are struggling more than others. (Source: WRDW)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Many locals rent out their homes every year during the Masters tournament to accommodate for the mass travelers that flood Augusta. However, some are struggling more than others.

On one side, some homeowners have had contracts signed for months, and are not seeing cancellations. On the other side, there are people who haven't yet rented their homes and are now struggling to find renters.

The question on everyone's minds is: will this street be filled with people, cars, and vendors in just a few short weeks?

This is the tale of two different landlords.

Every year, Joy Zimmerman, a resident of National Hills, preps her home for renters during Masters week and every year she gets paid thousands of dollars.

"It takes months to get ready. We work up until the last day," Zimmerman said. "This year, me and my fiance are using our money to go on a honeymoon. we're getting married next year. So I would say yes, this year we are relying heavily on it."

However, this year is more stressful because she hasn't found anyone to rent, possibly because of coronavirus concerns.

"I think it's just going to be last minute," she said. "I think everybody's just going to be - I think it's going to be a last-minute rent."

Rental business owners like Kj Boyle are not seeing any cancellations yet, but they are seeing questions. What would happen if the Masters is canceled? It could mean a loss for business owners like KJ.

"If the Augusta National closes the Masters, it seems that it would be fair and just to have some measure of refund," Boyle, owner of KJ Augusta Rentals, said. "Maybe its 50-50 at least so that nobody is truly completely out of their investment."

For Joy -- it's prayers that the last-minute renters will come.

"I don't care who rents my house. Rent," she said.

For KJ - it's prayers the renters -- will stay.

"We're all sitting on our toes wondering what's going to happen," he said.

Augusta National has not canceled the Masters and the tournament is scheduled to be held as usual.

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