PGA attendees boost economy, renting homes and booking hotels

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Local hotels are nearly booked and local homeowners are renting out their properties with the PGA Championship just days away. Hotels and restaurants are prepping for a busy week.

"We're so excited," said Mills House Marketing Director Tripp Hays. "We're starting to see the groups coming as early as Monday, coming out for the championship. We have a lot of corporate groups coming out that have bought hospitality tents and they're staying downtown so they're guests are able to enjoy restaurants and nightlife."

At the Mills House, rooms are still available, but the hotel expects to be at about 85 to 100 percent occupancy during the championship. Hotel officials say that is at least a 40 to 45 percent growth in sales this year over last year.

It's not just local hotels cashing in for PGA week. Home owners are actually listing their own homes or apartments for rent for the week.

Bill Leeka has listed his River Estates condo near Kiawah Island for a week-long rental, on the internet.

"My son-in-law set it up. We think Craigslist is a real good way. People will look at it. As of two days ago we've had seven hits, but no one's called," Leeka said.

A quick search of homes and apartment rentals during PGA week show dozens of listings in the Charleston area. Leeka's home is listed for $1,500 for a week. He hopes the PGA Championship will be the week he'll cash in.

"They can stay there. They can walk up a mile, bike up, get in a car, get in a bus and bus to the PGA without any effort, real close," Leeka said.

The PGA says it estimates a $4.1 million economic impact for the region, in accommodations and sales taxes.

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