Masters Week rental market regains corporate interest

Saturday, March 23, 2013 3:33 PM
Last updated Sunday, March 24, 2013 1:45 AM
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Housing rentals for Mast­ers Week are booming as the corporate rental market regains its strength, often netting lucrative paychecks for owners of high-end homes.

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Marcus Thompson, of Evans, earned more than $10,000 in rental income for this year's Masters Week for his five-bedroom, five-bathroom home.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Marcus Thompson, of Evans, earned more than $10,000 in rental income for this year's Masters Week for his five-bedroom, five-bathroom home.

In 2008, Marcus Thompson built his five-bedroom, five-bath house in the River Island subdivision with corporate Masters renting in mind. The home has three fireplaces, an outdoor living room with a big-screen television and a game room.

“That’s what the big corporations ask for now,” he said. “Everything was thought about how we could entertain guests this week.”

Jane Fuhrmann, the owner of Tournament Hous­ing and Events LLC, said the number of bookings and the rental prices are up this year. With just two weeks until the Masters Tournament begins, she’s on pace for her best year ever.

Fuhrmann said a traditional four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath house that previously rented for $8,000 to $8,500 rented for at least $500 more this year.

Some high-end homes rent for between $25,000 and $35,000, she said.

Thompson, who uses Fuhrmann’s company, earned more than $10,000 this year on his rental. He did not want to disclose the price but said it was higher than last year.

Executive Marketing Services, an Augusta-based hospitality and sports marketing company that sells customized packages for travel, housing and hospitality, rents several hundred homes during Masters Week. The business was up 15 percent compared with last year, spokesman Jay Norton said.

Norton said business has almost fully recovered from the economic recession, which hit hard the corporate golf-outing industry. Now, corporations have more spending flexibility and are again using sports events as a tool for attracting and retaining clients, he said.

“A lot of the companies that backed away for a few years have started to come back again,” Norton said.

For the first time since 2000, the Masters rental business was a homeowner’s market, said Dianne Starr, the president of Corporate Quarters Inc. Homeowners were getting their asking price rather than negotiating with renters.

“We no longer have to say, ‘Will you take the lower offer?’ ” Starr said.

The corporate rental come­back was partially spurred by a new, upscale hospitality venue at Augusta National Golf Club called Berckmans Place, Fuhrmann said. The venue, which offers high-quality food and drinks during the day but not housing, created a new source of renters.

“Large properties rented earlier this year,” she said. “Corporations were looking at coming in for the Masters earlier.”

Starr agreed that more corporate visitors are coming to Augusta with an interest in home rentals because of Berckmans Place.

Also, a strong year was due in part to Masters Sunday falling after Easter Sunday, which Fuhrmann said has traditionally meant more visitors come to town. The tournament will be April 8-14.

Fuhrmann said rental income is spent on mortgages, taxes and home renovations.

“Almost every single person puts the majority of that money back into their home,” she said. “Each year the home improves.”

Thompson has used the money for home improvements, such as painting, decorating and heart-pine flooring.

“It provides my family with a nice additional income that we use to take a nice vacation that week,” he said.

Masters Housing Bureau, a division of the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, also saw a significant rental market increase this year.

Sue Parr, the president and CEO of the chamber, said there was new interest from Masters Week visitors getting tickets for the first time.

“I expect at the end of the day we will see a 25 to 30 percent increase in the number of bookings,” Parr said.

David Burton, a client of Corporate Quarters Inc., rented his 7,000-square foot home on Walton Way plus a cottage behind the house and an additional four-bedroom rental property next door. In 2001, he renovated the large house so it can be used as the host home for entertaining and dining.

“I have lots of bathrooms and the kind of large kitchen a caterer needs,” he said.

Two months before Masters, Burton begins organizing linens and sprucing up landscaping. The rental income, which he did not disclose, helps pay for taxes, utilities, yard services and general maintenance throughout the year.


Masters Housing Bureau suggests these rental rates for homes during Masters Week:


 Four nightsSeven nights
1 bedroom, 1 bath$600-$800$1,050-$1,225
2 bedroom, 1 bath$1,000-$1,200$1,500-$1,800
2 bedroom, 2 baths$1,300-$1,500$2,200-$2,500
3 bedroom, 2 baths - 2 1/2 baths$1,800-$2,000$2,800-$3,000


 Four nightsSeven nights
2 bedroom homes, 1 or 1 1/2 baths$1,200-$1,500$1,800-$2,200
3 bedroom homes, 1 or 1 1/2 baths$1,700-$2,000$2,500-$2,800
3 bedroom homes, 2 or 2 1/2 baths$2,200-$2,400$3,200-$3,500
3 bedroom homes, 3 or 3 1/2 baths$2,600-$2,800$3,700-$4,000
4 bedroom homes, 2 or 2 1/2 baths$2,600-$3,000$4,000-$4,500

LARGER HOMES/CORPORATE PROPERTIES (Daily maid service included)

 Four nightsSeven nights
4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths$3,400-$3,800$5,000-$5,500
4 bedrooms, 3 baths (<4000 sq.ft.)$3,700-$4,000$5,500-$6,500
4 bedroom, 3 1/2 baths (<4,000 sq. ft)$4,000-$4,500$6,000-$7,000
4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 - 4 baths (4,000 sq. ft.+)$5,000-$6,000$7,500-$8,500
5 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths (<4,000 sq. ft)$5,500-$6,000$7,500-$9,000
5 bedrooms, 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 baths (5,000 sq. ft. +)$6,500-$7,500$9,500-$11,000 plus

Source: Masters Housing Bureau

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Just My Opinion
Just My Opinion 03/23/13 - 06:42 pm
If you look at all the

If you look at all the Augusta National has done in the past....added FREE parking for thousands of patrons, and now added high-end restaurant's just a matter of time before the Augusta National folks start on some sort of housing plans. The coporate guys would jump at the chance to stay on the National property...even if it's across and down the street! Sure, it might be less living space than an actual house, but to be within a SHORT walking distance and have the "prestige" of staying on the property??? Yeah...they'd go for that.
The Augusta National is slowing but surely taking away things that the community has been sucking money from the out-of-town patrons...parking, eating out, lodging. I'm on the fence here because I live in the area...I understand both sides. But I've long thought that it's just ridiculous what people will charge for renting out their homes. But, hey...I guess if the corporations are willing to pay for it, then why not. Still, it'll be interesting to see what the National does next for the patrons' benefit.

deestafford 03/23/13 - 06:59 pm
What is charged here compared to other high end, high demand

sporting events is a pittance. That starts with the price of tickets all the way to the concession stand. Augusta National could gouge people as other events do but they don't. Everything they do is an effort to make the Masters a most enjoyable experience possible...something the patrons will never forget. It goes back to the idea of Southern Hospitality that Bobby Jones and Cliff Roberts based the tournament.
One of the things I really admire about Augusta National is the attitude that seems to be, "This is our tournament. We will run it the way we want to in our effort to make it the primere sporting event in the golfing world."

Just My Opinion
Just My Opinion 03/23/13 - 07:20 pm
dee, I agree with you about

dee, I agree with you about the Augusta National trying to do what they can to take care of the patron, and to make it's tournament an enjoyable experience. That's why I think that, one day, they will offer some sort of accomadations...not for the masses, of course, but for some of their higher echelon patrons/sponsors. It's coming.

jamc1103 03/25/13 - 01:13 pm
You might have a point about the National offering housing.

If I recall, the National bought up the apartment complex across Washington road a year or so ago. It would be nothing for them to turn that into some type of housing for guests, players, etc....

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