Dripping Springs growth on the rebound

One of the gateways to the Texas Hill Country will soon feature a new shopping complex.

For years, the Nutty Brown Cafe was the place to go in these parts for entertainment. On the other side of the intersection, on Hwy 290, a new mixed use commercial development is set to break ground this fall. The Belterra Village shopping complex includes a Sky Cinemas movie theater.              

The new destination, which is set to open in late 2017, is a welcome addition for Joy Montgomery who has grown tired of the drive into Austin.

'I’m excited, I know a lot of people might not be, when we were a smaller community with not as many people it was ok not to have all the conveniences, but now that we have the traffic I’m excited about it, my kids, I have a daughter and she and her friends will have a place close instead of driving out to Bee Cave or into Austin," said Montgomery.

Named for a small spring located at the edge of the old town district, Dripping Springs is considered one of the gateways to the Texas Hill Country. Several vineyards have set up shop here, as well as distilleries and breweries. The area is also known for having several popular wedding venues. That’s what brought Amy Breedlove and her friends to town. They drove down from Lubbock to finalize a site for Breedlove's son who is getting hitched next month.

"After we came down here and looked at everything, we were sold," said Breedlove.

There is no firm data on the number of visitors who come to Dripping Springs, although officials tell FOX 7 a new Economic Impact Study is in the works. Even without hard data, the construction around town tells the story about the growth.

Pam Owens, the director of tourism at the visitor’s bureau and Dripping Springs Chamber admits managing the growth is a challenge.

"Things may seem to be out of control, sometimes, but there really is a plan," said Owens.

In 2000, only 1,500 people lived in dripping springs. By 2010 the population increased nearly 50%. The following six years saw a 15% bump. And another 10% increase is projected between now and 2021.

"Well I don't know if it surprises me, when I moved here 33 years ago, it was a beautiful place and a great place to live, I think it still is today," said Owens.