Greenwood Prepares For Masters Week
April 1, 2018
By CONOR HUGHES
As golf fans from around the world prepare to make the annual pilgrimage to the Southeast for the Masters, Greenwood is readying itself to enjoy the economic ripples from one of the country’s most profitable sporting events.
Last year, the tournament, which begins Thursday and ends Sunday, had a total economic impact in Greenwood of $1 million and is expected to do the same this year.
In a written statement, Greenwood Mayor Welborn Adams said the tournament is a significant asset for the city and the surrounding areas.
“We are always excited in the City of Greenwood for Masters Week,” he wrote. “The economic impact of the hotels filled to capacity benefits the city with hospitality and accommodations tax revenues.”
Claire Griffith, general manager of Inn on the Square, said the hotel is fully booked for the tournament, and the first guests are expected to begin arriving tonight.
The energy the guests bring with them makes Masters week an exciting time every year, she said.
“It’s always fun when you’ve got a group of people coming in to enjoy themselves, where that’s their number one goal,” she said. “Of course, we enjoy our folks all the time, but a lot of times they’re focused on business or whatever else they’ve got going on. But when you’ve got a lot of people coming in and the goal is to have fun, it always brings a really great environment.”
Though the Masters brings business to Greenwood, Howard Corley, owner of Howard’s on Main, said the the impact of the tournament has waned in the past decade, particularly in the past several years.
“In the last three or four years, I haven’t seen as much of an impact,” he said. “They’re more or less staying down in Evans or in Augusta.”
T.J. Jenks, owner of Montague’s Restaurant and a member of the Greenwood Tourism and Visitor’s Bureau’s board, said Greenwood is doing what it can to make the most of Masters week, but the expansion of hotels and infrastructure closer to the tournament has lessened the tournament’s impact in the area, though it’s still a boost for business.
“Augusta’s built it up and they’ve built a ton of stuff,” he said. “They’ve really, really built it up the last 10, 15 years, so it’s nothing like it was 20 years ago. Fifteen, 20 years ago, it was Montague’s biggest week, by far. It’s still OK, but another thing that’s hit is Air B&B. A lot more people do that than they used to so it’s kind of tough on the hotels.”
Kelly McWhorter, director of the Visitor’s Bureau, said in a statement the tournament is still a benefit to the city and introduces new people to the area every year.
“The Masters is always good for our local economy,” she wrote.