PGA business falls short for some

By Lia

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) - Freshfields Village spent a whole year preparing for the biggest sporting event in South Carolina that happened to be in their backyard. Property Manager Elisa Cooper says they didn't know what to expect going into the event, but overall, businesses feel slightly let down.

"We didn't have the numbers of people through here that we maybe expected to have but those that came had a wonderful time," she said. "It was wonderful exposure to the island, to Freshfields and in general to our stores."

Cooper says foot traffic could have been more and that businesses didn't have the amount of visitors coming through that they would have liked.

Freshfields put on live entertainment events to entice people to eat and shop, but some of the evening events were rained out.

"It was odd. We haven't talked to all the stores yet. We haven't been able to discuss with them what plans were, how successful they were. I think it was just a different crowd than what we expected."

Supervisor of the J. McLaughlin clothing store, Kathryn Metscher, says their business saw a moderate increase, but certainly didn't reach its full potential.

She feels more advertising needs to be done in the future and that a direct shuttle stop to Freshfields would have had increased business.

"The crowds going to and from the PGA definitely were more streamlined from the parking lot in and out of the island," she said.

King Street Grille assistant general manager, Matt Hudson, says business was good overall during the week, but agrees more people could have passed through.

"Food sales were great, late night inside was great," he said. "Just would have liked to see a little more foot traffic during the day."

He believes a direct off point also would have benefited the Freshfield community.

"It would have been a great point to say, here go through Freshfields and start all the way through the end. That would have got more people to hit retail stores and restaurants as well too."

Cooper says planning for the event wasn't just about the week but the future.

"Historically we know people will want to come back."