Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The Masters at Augusta National is an event that brings millions of people from all over the world. That means an economic boom for Columbia and surrounding cities.
"We had strong occupancy last year but not even close to what we have this year," said Steve Graves, General Manger of the Doubletree Hotel in Columbia.
Graves says they have seen a 30% increase in Masters fans at his hotel.
"The difference is the economy is perking up and a key factor is that Tiger Woods is ranked number one," said Graves.
People from all over the country are staying in Columbia for the Masters. Just at the Doubletree, Graves has more than 100 visitors from England and China. For the spike in occupancy the hotel has hired a larger staff.
"We make sure the rooms are in perfect condition, we have special menus that meet the needs of our guests."
"Every golf shop in Columbia looks forward to the Masters every year," said Tom Mason with Par Tee Driving Range in West Columbia.
Hotels aren't the only businesses that see a spike; Mason rents clubs to international visitors.
"The prices that the airlines are charging now days are high so it's just become something that we have tried to make it easier for them," said Mason.
Easier for people like Christopher Coulter, "We are from Beverly but not as in Beverly Hills," said Coulter.
Coulter and his wife traveled all the way from Beverly Yorkshire in the UK.
"We watch the masters every year for the past 25 years and we have always wanted to come."
They bought tickets to the Masters but rented some clubs to catch a few tee times during the week as well.
"I've got two rounds, one at the Woodlands in the morning and one in Lexington later in the week."
This event brings in Millions to the Columbia area and is something Graves hopes will continue for years to come.
"Any new dollar coming into our community circulates three fold, so we have money coming in from all over the United States and the world."
With Tiger Woods being the favorite, the Coulter family says it would be nice to see him win in person but being at Augusta National is all they need for a lifelong memory.