Austin Rising (Literally)

Scott Francis
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There are milestones in a city’s development that are worth noting.  Like 2015: the year Austin surpassed San Antonio for hotel dollars for the first time ever.

“Austin hotel revenue was up 18.1 percent, growing from $267.1 million to $315.4 million year over year. San Antonio, meanwhile, was down 2.3 percent, going from $306.1 million in 2014 to $299 million this year.”

The rate at which Austin’s hotel revenue is growing is amazing to me.  Mostly this is about more rooms.

“This year, downtown Austin alone has added more than 1,300 hotel rooms, thanks to the openings of the JW Marriott and the Westin Austin Downtown. Those additional rooms are making Austin more competitive, said Steve Genovesi, senior vice president of sales for the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The city currently has about 8,000 downtown hotel rooms.”

The hotel rooms and first floor retail and walkable sidewalks have really transformed Austin’s downtown district.  Add that to the air travel increases and you know something is working.  Above and beyond all the hotel construction, there is now talk of expanding the Austin Convention Center – and while that is likely another great development for Austin, I would be sorry to lose some great restaurants and venues that reside across the street from the Convention Center – its hard to recreate that mix in another location.

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