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Tuesday, April 5, 2011 - 4:57am

Augusta Readies For Busy Masters Week

Each year the Mayor’s Masters Reception in down town Augusta marks the beginning of the city’s biggest tourist draw and golf’s most prestigious major tournament.

About 1,000 people came out Monday evening to hear Mayor Deke Copenhaver honor golfer Larry Mize. Mize is the only Augusta native ever to win the coveted Green Jacket.

Copenhaver says the evening's record attendance is just one sign this year’s tournament could be the busiest in years.

"Housing is up this year [and] it does seem like we have more of a corporate presence this year than we’ve had over the past couple of years so it feels like there are a few more people in town," says Copenhaver.

Home rentals had sagged over the past few years because fewer corporations were entertaining clients at the Masters in the wake of the recession.

Typically the tournament injects about 150 million dollars into Augusta’s economy.