Big sports weekend means green for area businesses - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Big sports weekend means green for area businesses

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

This is a big weekend for sports fans with the Southern 500 and the Masters and the Columbia area happens to be right in the middle of it all.

Businesses are booming and the crowds are coming.

General Manager of Golfsmith, Patrick Argento said at the beginning of the week their sales were up 300 percent.

"Monday the Masters rained out and we had five times the traffic that we would normally have on a Monday," Argento said.

And a lot of traffic is expected throughout the weekend.

Especially in Columbia, not only does the capital city get overflow from those heading to the Masters, but Darlington as well.

"We have people that stay in Columbia and drive over to the Darlington/Florence area for the race," said Scott Powers with the Columbia Regional Sports Council.

It's the first time in history the NASCAR race has been scheduled during the Masters, and adding in the USC spring football game, finding a place to stay could cost you.

"Up to a month ago people were having trouble finding hotel rooms at a reasonable rate in the Columbia area," Powers said.

Last year there were 30,000 people who came out to see the Gamecocks play during their spring game.

"I think the locals are going to be in for a little shock when they find out their go to restaurant for the weekend has an hour wait or two hour wait for all the people that are in town," Powers said.

Not only are hotels and restaurants going to be packed this weekend, but golf courses will also be booked.

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