CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- While the 2013 Greenbrier Classic is still 17 days away, workers and golf officials are already setting up camp in Lewisburg and White Sulphur Springs to prepare for the fourth edition of the PGA tournament.
However, instead of setting up camp in the outdoors, they're setting up in local homes.
Since the tournament launched in 2010, residents of the Lewisburg and White Sulphur Springs areas have literally opened their homes to visitors, or at least those willing to pay rent.
Kara Dense, executive director at the Greenbrier County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said over the years people have learned there are only so many hotel rooms available in the immediate area.
To help accommodate more visitors — and make some extra income — some homeowners offer up rooms or whole houses for the week.
Dense said most of the renters plan to bring their families and want to avoid the close quarters of a hotel room for the week.
She said the home rentals have helped boost the local economy by bringing these families into downtown areas of Lewisburg and White Sulphur Springs during the tournament.
"It has a great impact," she said. "It's definitely a good thing any time we can get more people in renting homes and out visiting the area."
Jill Allman manages the Greenbrier Classic rentals for Greenbrier Real Estate. Properties range from a six-bedroom, two-story house with a pool — available for a weekly rate of $14,500 — down to guest bedroom accommodations for $150 a night.
She has seen steady demand for the 20 properties she has rented each of the last four years.
"A lot of the same have been coming every year and renting the same house every year," Allman said.
While people are familiar with the properties, the homeowners and renters don't necessarily have much contact. Homeowners typically leave days before the tenants arrive and don't return until well after they're gone.
Allman said her firm takes care of the contracts between homeowners and tenants and handles the financial transactions and security deposits.
She said the rental market now covers more than just the week of the tournament.