CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Games of Texas are officially underway in Corpus Christi. Soon enough, champions will be crowned, but the athletes may not be the only winners during the competition.
Big events like this, provide an economic boost to the City of Corpus Christi.
City council members said during their Tuesday meeting they expect 10,000 participants and 15,000 spectators. Visit Corpus Christi are estimating the games will bring in over $3 million to the city.
Visit Corpus Christi said people in town for the Games are scattered throughout more than 22 hotels in the city.
For example, the Embassy Suites general manager on South Padre Island Drive said her hotel is booked up through the weekend.
“So, they fill the block up, which we initially had a 50 room block, but they quickly exceeded that," said Melody Nixon-Bice, general manager. "So, they booked inside and outside of the block. So, that’s just how it always works out when you have such a large, citywide event.”
Water Street Restaurants president Richard Lomax said his businesses already get a boost in the summer months. Add in a big event -- they'll stay busy.
“We’re usually up 33 percent in the summers from normal," he said. "An event like this will bring us up another 20. So, we’ll be bursting at the seams, and so excited to have all these visitors here. In our business it’s hard to dislike it. Our mission is we love where we live we love to make corpus a better place and show it off. A day like this it’s hard to complain. So when visitors come in we love to show them great local seafood, live music and those are the ones you really get to make an impression on.”
“Well, there’s nothing to really dislike about it," she said. "We love having people coming to our city, obviously. What we like the most is that we get to show off what we have for travelers. So, when they come in they participate in their events they get to take in some of the attractions, our great restaurants and want to come back hopefully.”
How would the city fare if events like these never came to town?
“Oh, if we didn’t get events like this it would definitely affect us," said Nixon-Bice. "We are a city that loves to have various sporting competitions. We get all types of events that come into the city. So, it would make an impact, a negative impact if we didn’t have that business coming in.”
“Oh, it would be horrible for the downtown community," said Lomax. "So much of our business in the summer is that tourism and that new face to downtown. You wouldn’t see near the development if we didn’t have that as kind of a sales — a revenue stream to lean on.”
The Games of Texas run through the weekend to Aug. 1. The schedule state the event continues the following weekend with water polo on Aug. 7 and 8.
The schedule can be found here.