Downtown Augusta businesses share impacts from Masters Tournament

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The Masters has always been an asset to the Garden City’s economy–so how are businesses in the downtown area seeing the impacts?

The weather has been favorable throughout the week at Augusta National—w​ith the exception of rain Thursday morning, leading to a late start time.

But the downtown area is seeing plenty of parking spaces filled, and many patrons checking out businesses in the Garden City.

NewsChannel 6 stopped by close to 10 businesses on Broad Street to see how they are doing this Masters week, and we got mixed responses.

Catherine Alexander is with Art on Broad, Inc.

“We’ve had good traffic every day,” said Alexander. “We have found that the mornings have been quiet, and it usually picks up around lunchtime.”

Art on Broad is one of the businesses that has seen a good influx of customers throughout the week—with many coming straight from Augusta National.

“We’re getting some patrons who went the day before to the tournament, and then some of the customers who’ve been coming in are wives or spouses of people who are actually out at the tournament,” said Alexander.

Tourists are also stopping by Augusta and Company to take pieces of the Garden City home with them–that’s according to manager Mamie McAbee.

“We definitely see a big influx during Masters week. We have a lot of people that come in. Maybe they have tickets say on Tuesday, and they’ll come in on Monday. They come in a little early, they’ll come in and shop around and try to find some great souvenirs of Augusta,” McAbee said.

But some businesses say the amount of customers coming through the doors has not been impacted by the tournament.

One of those is Grantski Records, owned by Evan Grantski.

“It’s been pretty much normal, business is usual. We’ve had some out of town people—we had a guy from Germany come in yesterday,” said Grantski. “A lot of locals go out of town, and then we get some golfers and people in town. So, it’s about the same. I mean if anything, it’s been a little bit slower, but it’s pretty much normal.”

Alexander says Art on Broad Inc. has seen a slight increase in customers compared to other weeks throughout the year,

“There’s been a little increase, but it’s not a drastic change, no,” said Alexander. “We’ve had some people coming in looking at some larger paintings that they’ve talked about taking back home. We’ve had people come in from Florida and even Phoenix, so we have to ship those paintings to them.”

McAbee says for Augusta & Co., they’re actually busier the week of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

“Specifically, we are busier the week before Masters than we are the week of Masters. People will come in that are decorating their homes or their Air B&Bs, and they’ll come in and get souvenirs of Augusta from us,” said McAbee.

The first round of this year’s Masters began Thursday morning, and time will tell the impact the businesses will see over the next few days.

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