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Sunday, April 14, 2013
With The Masters comes all sorts of visitors from around the country and the globe.
In North Augusta, that is nowhere more apparent than the local bed and breakfasts, as this week is easily one of, if not the busiest one of the year.
It also gives local owners a chance to show off North Augusta's history to a number of visitors who may not realize they are in a different town, much less in a different state entirely from that of the prestigious golf tournament.
At Rosemary Inn Bed and Breakfast and Lookaway Inn, the visitors will come in the form of one group.
"We have, for the second year in a row, a group that is taking all of Rosemary for the entire week, all eight nights," Kelly Combs, co-owner of both inns, said.
"For the fourth year in a row, we have also been able to bring in the same corporation to Lookaway. They have a contract in advance and take the whole facility."Up the road a little bit, the same can also be said for Carolina Oaks Bed & Breakfast.
"We're always full, ever since we started, every room is full for every day," said Rachel Franklin, co-owner of Carolina Oaks. "The most interesting conversations I've heard always tend to be how people get their tickets. Sometimes it used to be a family friend or business; now they're getting them from paying large prices."
A number of challenges face these business owners during the week, with most of it coming before hand in the preparation.
"The weather has, for the most part, been cooperative, but the rains always seem to put us behind with getting things cleaned up," Combs said. "The pollen and the dirt from the winter and fall that has accumulated, we try to find some time to wash down."
Of course, it wouldn't be Masters week without some entertaining stories of guests.
"We do the corporation that sponsors Zach Johnson (winner of the 2007 Masters)," Diana Combs said. "He stops by some, though he doesn't stay here. The two corporations handle and take up both houses."
Franklin, who is renting her home to a corporation this year as well, can also recount some stories of guests she had.
"The first year we had a group from Canada for four days, and they had won their tickets in a lottery. They had four tickets and seven people and took turns," she said. "... Another interesting year was when a golf journalist found us, his girlfriend was also his photographer, and that was interesting watching them. He would be at the table every morning writing. He was from Australia and she was from England. Last year was fun, because all of our guests were from England or lived in England except one couple. They had a good time talking to each other. Most people are in and out and come in late and hurry to get their parking spaces."