Special events in Waco are attracting more tourists, boosting economy

Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 6:21 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - From Silobration to rowing competitions, events in Waco are bringing more footsteps to the area.

More visitors result in additional money for the city’s economy.

Waco’s interim director of Conventions and Tourism, Dan Quandt, said September’s occupancy here was 72.3 percent, the highest of all metropolitan areas in Texas.

With more events scheduled soon, officials are hopeful that number will increase.

Quandt said more guests visiting the area helps boost the economy. “When you bring in people from the outside to participate in our economy, those are new dollars that really provide the economic impact that we’re looking for,” said Quandt.

Quandt said visitors spend nearly $1.2 million a day in Waco.

In 2022, the occupancy reached over 90 percent during the weekends of Baylor’s Homecoming and Ironman Waco.

Quadnt said this is a jump from the 70 percent average.

“On average, we’re probably in the most 70 percent. Having seven out of 10 rooms being used is pretty good to start with, kick that up to more than nine out of 10, that’s almost unheard of. From a tourism’s standpoint, that’s extremely strong,” said Quandt.

The tourism could get even stronger with the Waco Rowing Regatta coming to town this weekend.

Director of the Greater Waco Sports Commission, Mike Vogelaar, predicts the competition will bring more guests and future events too.

“We want to create an economic impact through sports, but also improve the quality in life for local residents. Not only is this going to bring in travel and tourism with all these teams competing, but in the future, there’s going to be winter training, there’s going to be other competitions that come in,” said Vogelaar.

President of Perryman Group and Research Firm, Ray Perryman, said these events not only help Waco’s economy, but the surrounding cities as well.

“People will spend money throughout the area when they are in town. The other thing is you have a supply chain. You can people who supply all of the other facilities, people who work in the facilities, all of those folks are involved. For example, people who live in Woodway and Hewitt that work at some of the venues, they get a paycheck and spend it in those communities, “said Perryman.

Quandt said more dollars plus folks getting better acquainted with the city is a win-win.

“It’s not all about the dollars and cents. It’s about showing off Waco and creating a new image of Waco in folks’ minds,” said Quandt.

Waco Rowing Regatta is this weekend.

Officials said it will have about one thousand competitors and 2500 people visiting to watch.