Dripping Springs tourism industry experiencing 'crippling loss in revenue'

Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, Dripping Springs has seen many events in their area canceled leading to a 'crippling loss in revenue.' 

Spring is the festival season for many parts of Texas, including Dripping Springs, according to a press release from the Dripping Springs Visitors Bureau.

During this time, bureau staff and volunteers are usually preparing for a busy season, instead, they are now discussing the losses faced by cancellations. Dripping Springs has seen an 85 percent decrease in the hotel and lodging business since the city began social distancing practices, according to the bureau. 

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The bureau is primarily funded by the Hotel Occupancy Tax, and with the decrease in visitors to the area, the loss in revenue has led to a challenging time that they say they have yet to encounter. 

“Normally in the spring, large numbers of weddings are taking place which also initiates our hotels and other lodgings to fill with out-of-town guests who shop, eat at our restaurants and go to our wineries, breweries, and distilleries. Right now, almost none of that business is happening,” said Pam Owens, the President and CEO of the Dripping Springs Visitors Bureau.

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Tourism is considered one of Dripping Spring's largest economic contributors, and hotels are not the only feeling the pain. 

Wineries, breweries, and distilleries also play a part in the Dripping Springs tourism industry, however, they too are facing hardship. According to the Texas Craft Brewer’s Guild, Texas breweries have seen a 71% drop in revenue due to COVID-19. 

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“We have seen a significant impact on our business from the decrease in tourism.  Typically, out of town customers who are on a brewery/winery/distillery tour, or in town for weddings make up the majority of our weekend taproom business. Fortunately, the local community has continued to support us by purchasing cans of beer, kegs and merchandise to-go online,” Acopon Brewing owner, Davie Neimeyer said. 

According to the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, 90% of brewers have decided to sell their products through curbside pick-up, drive-thru or carryout to increase revenue. 

RELATED: Local restaurants offering delivery, curbside and take out service after restaurants and bars shut down

The bureau is working on a recovery plan in which they say marketing will play a huge role.

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