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Tourism board considers courting Masters visitors

The Thomson-McDuffie Tourism Board is already working to lure Masters visitors to Thomson. The board has partnered with the Masters Housing Bureau to offer tourists the opportunity to rent houses in Thomson during Masters week.

"We are not trying to take business away from the motels; we are trying to take business from people who stay in houses somewhere else," said Don Powers, the Forward McDuffie director and a Tourism Board member. "If they are going to stay in a house, we want them to stay in a McDuffie house and spend money here and find out about McDuffie and enjoy our community."

Mr. Powers made the announcement at the Aug. 24 board meeting, where White Columns Inn Owner Epp Wilson said he was not offended by the offer. Mr. Wilson said he feels the Masters Housing and the hotels can work together.

"It might be like a McDonald's building being next to a Burger King building being next to a Waffle House. It increases traffic for everybody. I welcome the idea and feel we will benefit from it," he said.

When Mr. Powers first approached the Masters Bureau, he said he used the convenience and amenities at Belle Meade Country Club to spark their interest. However, Mr. Powers said the proposal is not exclusive to Belle Meade residents.

Belle Meade's attractions include its location next to the airport and easy access to the interstate, along with the golf course, club house and swimming pool privileges.

Mr. Powers said he hopes residents in other areas of Thomson will consider offering their house also.

"The purpose is to promote Thomson," he said. "However, there are limitations, like if you live too far out in the country...We are trying to make people aware of the fact that here's this area that's not traditionally in the Masters hotbed of housing that might be a preferred alternative."

Persons interested in offering their home for rent must fill out an application and send in pictures and a detailed description of their house.

To find out more information, or to obtain an application, call or visit Mr. Powers at the Depot, 706-597-1000.

Web posted on Thursday, September 14, 2006

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