Mon, May 20, 2024

An extra month of income in a week

Destination Augusta said the Masters Tournament and related activities, including the Augusta National Women’s Amateur (ANWA) Tournament, can be like a 13th month of revenue for some businesses.

ABD requested a breakdown from Destination Augusta comparing money spent in 2022 to 2023, as well as the economic impact of ANWA since it began in 2019.

One source Destination Augusta uses to track numbers is STR for hotel/motel data.

Its website is quoted as saying: “STR provides premium data benchmarking, analytics, and marketplace insights for the global hospitality industry.”

According to STR, lodging revenue in April is 2.8 times greater than any other month. In April 2023, hotel/motel revenue was $28 million. That is a 6.85% increase over the $26 million in 2022.

To track credit card spending, Destination Augusta turns to TransUnion Credit Card Spending Data. As a single month, April credit card spending in Augusta in 2023 was $44.7 million, a 204% increase over all other months. That also is a 27% increase over spending in April 2022.

The inaugural ANWA Tournament was held in 2019. Destination Augusta reported an 11% increase in hotel/motel revenue from April 2018 to April 2019, attributed to the additional event growing the traditional seven days of Masters Weeks to a two-week event.

The report ABD received said, “The additional visitors in town means an increase in hotel stays, restaurant meals enjoyed, transportation services used, and, yes, residents can rent their homes for more days. The extra boost means more dollars for workers as more local hospitality means more hands are needed.”

The income in 2022 and 2023 marked a welcome return to normal after the pandemic. The 2020 tournament was postponed until November and was then held without patrons. In 2021, the event was back to its normal April schedule, but with only limited patrons.

Visitor impact is also felt at Augusta & Company, Destination Augusta’s storefront and information center at 1010 Broad Street.

Gross sales in 2023 were 21% above sales in 2022. The 585 people who visited the store were 46% higher than an average week.

“The Masters is a once-in-a-lifetime event every year for someone across the world. It’s a badge of honor to attend. It’s a rite of passage for many families. It’s a symbol of pride for our area,” said Bennish Brown, Destination Augusta President and CEO in the report. “Most importantly, it’s an opportunity for our city to shine on an international stage.”

It is also an opportunity to show off what Augusta has to offer for business owners looking for a place to locate a new company or expand an existing one.

That gets a boost from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Georgia Department of Economic Development through the annual Red Carpet Tour.

The four-day event takes business leaders across the state to see firsthand what Georgia has to offer.

In partnership with the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, the tour, led by Gov. Brian Kemp (R), visits Augusta for the opening round of the tournament on Thursday. It returns to Augusta on Saturday.

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