Whether it's Tiger Woods' return to golf or a slight improvement in the economy, Columbia's hotel rooms are filling up fast as the Masters golf tournament in Augusta approaches.
And people are paying about $20 more per room this year than in the depths of the recession last year, local hoteliers say.
Even though Augusta is 80 miles from the capital city, hotels generally fill up here with golf-lovers looking to escape skyrocketing room prices.
"Columbia usually does very well during the Masters," said Tony Tam, general manager of the Hilton Columbia Center.
So the Woods effect is unclear. But what is certain is that business is booming again this year after a slump last year that had many hotels discounting rooms.