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Area hotels booked up for Masters Week

Some hit capacity months before golf tournament begins

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Many hotels across metro Au­gusta have already booked up for Masters Week, regardless of their distance from Augusta National Golf Club.

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Jessica Chafin (from right) works at the front desk alongside Derek Tricarico and Rebecca Leonhardt at the downtown Marriott. Hotel revenue for the 2013 Masters was up 10.3 percent from 2012.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Jessica Chafin (from right) works at the front desk alongside Derek Tricarico and Rebecca Leonhardt at the downtown Marriott. Hotel revenue for the 2013 Masters was up 10.3 percent from 2012.

“Obviously people want to book closer in first, but rates also dictate that, too,” said Susan Glenn, the sales director for DoubleTree by Hilton. “Some people don’t mind driving 30 minutes out if
the rate is a little bit better for them.”

The 179-room DoubleTree on Peri­meter Parkway in Augusta reached capacity for the Masters Tournament in December, which Glenn said is about three months later than normal.

“This is not necessarily unusual. It happens every three or four years,” she said. “People just kind of waited a little bit later
and now are finding that procrastination is not working out in their favor.”

Rooms at seven other hotel chains in and around Augusta that are operated by the same development group as the DoubleTree, including lodging on Jimmie Dyess Parkway, Gordon Highway and Stevens Creek Road, also are almost sold out, Glenn said. Even Hampton Inn in Thomson is nearly full, she added.

Augusta Convention and Visi­tors Bu­reau marketing communications director Carly Kobasiar said the daily occupancy level of local hotels during last year’s Masters Week was between 71 percent and 93 percent, attributing the information to STR, formerly known as Smith Travel Research. Richmond County has 7,000 hotel rooms, Kobasiar said.

A quarterly report released last summer by the visitors bureau showed that last year’s hotel revenue and occupancy was up 10.3 percent and 4.2 percent from the 2012 Masters.

A sprinkling of rooms are still available Sunday and Monday nights for the tournament’s practice rounds.

“The first part of the week are individuals coming in, and the latter part of the week are client-entertained guests,” Glenn said. “Star­ting Wednesday is really when it doesn’t matter what type of client it is, it’s going to be sold out.”

The same holds true at Stay­bridge Suites Augusta, one of the closest hotels to the golf course.

Manager Sherry Smith said that as of Monday, just 17 rooms were left for the Monday and Tuesday of Masters Week. The 92-room hotel at 2540 Center West Parkway, which opened in 2008, charges between $550 to $1,050 nightly, much higher than the average cost of $164.99 for a standard suite.

“The closer it gets to the Mas­ters, it can go up higher,” she said.

Glenn said it is typical for local hotels to double, triple or quadruple their rates for the first full week in April.

Management at La Quinta Inn at 3020 Washington Road said all 129 rooms in the three-story
hotel are occupied for Masters Week.

At the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center, the 372-room, 11-floor downtown property has been booked since June, said Darryl Leech, the vice president and general manger of the riverfront hotel.

“We fill up about 30 days after the Masters is over,” he said. “I’m sure we have a couple (of rooms available) on a Tuesday, but for all intents and purposes, we’re sold out.”

Comments (13) Add comment
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Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 03/17/14 - 09:37 pm
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Obvious

Would not this qualify as a "dog bites man" story?

It's about as helpful as the "airports crowded on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving" stories we get every year.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/18/14 - 06:48 am
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$1,050 nightly

$1,050 nightly. You have to be kidding?

InChristLove
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InChristLove 03/18/14 - 08:31 am
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Outrageous! $500 to $1050 a

Outrageous! $500 to $1050 a night?

soapy_725
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soapy_725 03/18/14 - 08:48 am
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Grab that gusto while you can and steal those tax dollars.
Unpublished

Grab that gusto while you can and steal those tax dollars.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 03/18/14 - 08:49 am
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If the ANGC could go anywhere else, I'm sure they would move.
Unpublished

If the ANGC could go anywhere else, I'm sure they would move.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 03/18/14 - 08:49 am
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"Augusta just ain't no where to be.............."
Unpublished

"Augusta just ain't no where to be.............."

soapy_725
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soapy_725 03/18/14 - 08:51 am
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Ah, The Half Days Inn and The Notell Hotel. Bombay originals.
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Ah, The Half Days Inn and The Notell Hotel. Bombay originals.

countyman
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countyman 03/18/14 - 10:06 am
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Funny

The Masters guest obviously don't read the Augusta Chronicle. Everyday were told the sky is falling and nobody wants to visit here..

Why aren't the hotels in the surrounding counties more expensive and the most desirable?

Why is the Marriott downtown already booked? The same few people continue to portray that nobody wants to visit downtown.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 03/18/14 - 11:28 am
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countyman, seriously? The

countyman, seriously? The only reason why they are visiting is to attend the Masters. They aren't visiting HERE or visiting DOWNTOWN, They are viisiting the MASTERS. Why is the Marriott downtown already booked, because there are few and far between decent places for lodging for your average patron and I would wager most of these rooms are paid by corporate business accounts. Doesn't say too much for Augusta to charge 3 and 4 times the normal room rate. I have no problem raising prices for special events but $500 to $1,050 for a night is highway robbery.

countyman
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countyman 03/18/14 - 12:19 pm
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Facts

They are visiting here, because the Masters Tournament is held in Augusta..

Average patron? The Marriott downtown is the most expensive hotel in the CSRA among the national brands.. The Sheraton, Double Tree, Hilton brands, etc in West Augusta are next in terms of the price range.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/18/14 - 01:11 pm
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Huh?

Who's saying anything different? Talk about being defensive.

But I'm curious. Since the Chronicle is informing us how much the other hotels are charging during the Masters, why not tell us how much the one in the photo, The Marriott, is charging?

MadSnapper
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MadSnapper 03/18/14 - 03:46 pm
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$500 to $1050 a night is not

$500 to $1050 a night is not highway robbery, it's what the market will bear. I, like many others, get what I can for my house each year...

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/18/14 - 05:07 pm
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MadSnapper, I agree. I was

MadSnapper, I agree. I was simply surprised anyone would pay a grand a night for a room. I intend to rent my house next year for as much as I can get. It's actually encouraging to see what's being paid.

corgimom
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corgimom 03/18/14 - 05:08 pm
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I remember a time when you

I remember a time when you couldn't find a hotel room within 50 miles, all of them had 100% occupancy.

Can you say "overbuilt"?

The ones that pay $1000 per room write it off as a business expense.

corgimom
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corgimom 03/18/14 - 05:09 pm
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Breaking news- "They are

Breaking news-

"They are visiting here, because the Masters Tournament is held in Augusta.."

Stop the presses!

InChristLove
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InChristLove 03/18/14 - 05:22 pm
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My point was they are coming

My point was they are coming to Augusta not to visit downtown but they are coming to Augusta because of the Master Tournament. MadSnapper, paying $500 to over a thousand for a bed and a bathroom is highway robbery. Most patrons will spend the day at the Masters and only use the room for sleep.....that IS highway robbery. I have no problem with what they charge for renting residences. At least your get your money's worth.

lovingthesouth72
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lovingthesouth72 03/18/14 - 09:49 pm
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It's called supply and demand

If people can pay that, then charge it. These folks are not here for a charity event. It boosts the local economy and keeps the grass green on our side, no pun intended! In a time when people are hurting for money, all the extra jobs that are offered that week are a blessing! I always make a point of thanking patrons for coming to town if I happen to run into one.

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