5. April 2012 23:03
When the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau invited Small Market Meetings editor Vickie Mitchell to come for a preview of their new downtown convention center during the week of The Masters, she knew just what to do. She invited me to go in her place.
Vickie had done a similar trip to Augusta a few years back and asked if I'd like to do it since I am a golfer. So my wife, Kim, and I made a three-day road trip of it and enjoyed some true Georgia hospitality along the way. We overnighted in Asheville, North Carolina and were in Augusta by noon the next day. I did a hardhat tour of the new TEE (Trade, Exhibit and Event) Center that will debut in January, and also got to see the adjacent Marriott Augusta Hotel and Suites, the Augusta Museum of History and this city's impressive riverfront development along the Savannah River.
That evening, we and other guests enjoyed a wonderful meal at our hospitality house (an Augusta tradition for golfers and dignitaries attending the golf tournament) and joined CVB CEO Barry White for an evening with Darius Rucker and his band at an outdoor concert for the city's First Tee program. First Tee gives kids of all backgrounds the chance to learn golf and the game's longstanding tenets of fair play and decorum during competition. Rucker, himself, is an avid golfer and grew up nearby.
The following day, CVB marketing communications director Katrina Selby escorted Kim and me to the Wednesday practice round for The Masters.
Our group relaxed for a moment on the riverfront promenade that stretches along the Savannah River
Stately homes line the other side of the Savannah River across from the Marriott Augusta Hotel and Suites
The new TEE (Trade, Exhibit and Event) Center in Augusta will open in January 2013
We were served a wonderful evening meal on this patio in our hospitality house in Augusta