Businesses prep for PGA tournament

By Nikki

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV)--People from across the world are heading to town the 94th PGA championship on Kiawah Island.

The seven day event is expected to attract about 50,000 out of towners and pump nearly $200 million into the local economy.

"It's going to be an exciting week," said Elisa Cooper, the property manager for Freshfields Village which is located at the crossroads between Seabrook and Kiawah Islands.

Cooper says her shopping center has been prepping for the big tournament for the last twelve months.

"Ee've created a '19th hole' for the PGA. You can come here and have food and beer, music. We've got movies. We've got golf entertainment, golf experiences. It's going to be a fun place to be," said Cooper.

The average PGA visitor is expected to spend about $345 a day and to accommodate them, the shopping center is also offering extended business hours.

"All of the stores will be open from 8 o'clock in the morning until 10 o'clock at night," said Chris Louviere, a manager a J. McLaughlin clothing store. He says some businesses will offer incentives for shopper to step into their stores.

"Our store particularly will be doing happy hour every day from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. where we'll offer free beer and wine, cheese, water bottles to everybody that comes in," said Louviere.

To handle the bigger crowds, many stores have also brought in extra staff and more inventories.

"We're stocking three to four weeks of supplies in one week's business," said Johnny Miller, the general manager of King Street Grille.

He says his restaurant will also be able to accommodate many people on the outside.

"One of the big things we're doing to meet the demand with Freshfields Village and Anheuser Busch to use what we call 'Big Bertha.' It's a tractor trailer that opens up like a transformer into a bar complete with bar stools and flat screen televisions," said Miller.

{}Thursday through Saturday, several tribute bands will perform at Freshfields Village imitating some of your favorite singers from the past including U2 and Jimmy Buffet.

More than 200,000 spectators are expected to attend the PGA.