Thousands of golf fans boost local economy during ANWA

EVANS, Ga (WJBF)- Thousands of golf fans are in Columbia County for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Tournament, pumping money into the county’s economy by staying at hotels, shopping, and dining at locally owned restaurants.

However, we haven’t had a normal year to measure what the impact is, until now.

We may not have seen what the true economic impact the Women’s Amateur will have yet because of the pandemic. So, this is the first year since the inaugural event that we’ll get an idea of the full impact ANWA will have in Columbia County.

Rooted Coffeehouse opened its doors in 2018, just a year before the inaugural ANWA Tournament.

Many people from out of town look for local establishments like Rooted Coffeehouse for local flavor. The owners at Rooted say that even though they are close to Champions Retreat golf course foot traffic hasn’t dramatically increased.

“Honestly, we don’t have this huge up tick in business. We do have a lot of fun new people come in, even if they just come in in the morning. Really just new people. Not a lot of– more people,” said Alison Kocher, co-owner at Rooted Coffeehouse.

The “get out of dodge” mentality that many people living in the CSRA have during these golf tournaments has only changed the faces Rooted employees see and not the amount of business the establishment gets.

“I feel like you kind of lose your people and new people come. So, it’s just kind of a trade off. We’ve never seen this huge change,” explained Heather Needles, co-owner and founder of Rooted Coffeehouse.

To celebrate golf week, Rooted Coffeehouse will be offering their Taste of Augusta lunch box starting today through Masters Week. It will include some of Augusta’s favorite lunches like their take on the pimento cheese and egg salad sandwiches. And, of course, you can’t forget that famous southern sweet tea.

Photojournalist: Will Baker.

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