Aiken, SC (WJBF)- Because Augusta can’t always handle the tens of thousands who visit for the Masters, patrons frequently stay in towns outside of the Garden City.
Hotel Aiken has been in business for 118 years, and it has Masters to thank.
“If we didn’t have Masters week, I mean it would be tough to survive all year,” said Paul Volz, the hotel’s general manager.
Aiken, SC, a sleepy hamlet of around 30,00 is known for its equestrian events, but it gets a huge economic boost from the Masters every year.
Volz attributes the extra business in Aiken to the traffic in Augusta.
As Masters week overwhelms the city of Augusta every year, many travelers find it more convenient to stay in smaller towns nearby such as Aiken.
“It’s just outside of Augusta, so when we’re finished with the tournament, come back, we can relax, we can get back to hotel quick,” said Hotel Aiken guest Tom Guilfoil.
Another thing guests love about staying in Aiken is that it’s easy to get to bars and restaurants without the hassle you might experience in Augusta.
“They can still go out to the restaurants, they can still get in at night,” said Volz. “Wheras Augusta’s a little tougher.”
Patrons aren’t the only ones benefitting.
“We can pull in 18 to 20 thousand dollars a day during Masters week so it’s a huge difference,” said Volz.
Guests are are also able to enjoy a new locale that they might not have been their original destination.
“It’s a nice little town and the hotel’s a great little place,” Guilfoil said.
As Augusta’s economy welcomes tens of thousands, towns miles away are also feeling the impact.
“We always have a strong Masters crowd,” Volz said. “It’s always a big money maker for us.”