Six new hotels will open in San Marcos beginning this month to accommodate the U.S. Census Bureau-named “fastest-growing city in the United States.”
Two of the six hotels will be opening within the next two months. Comfort Inn will open in May on Clovis R. Barker Road and will feature 170 rooms. The Marriott Courtyard is scheduled to open in June and will be located across from the Tanger and Premium Outlets on Gregson’s Bend Road. While it is known that a Holiday Inn is among the remaining four, the names of the other three hotels have not been revealed.
Rebecca Ybarra-Ramirez, executive director of the San Marcos Convention and Visitor Bureau, said the construction will have an immediate impact on San Marcos.
“Right now the city only has (around) 1,700 hotels,” Ramirez said. “Fifty percent of those hotels are 20 years old or older. These new hotels will generate business that we lost.”
Ramirez said San Marcos’ lack of hotels results in more people going to cities such as Kyle and Austin for rooms during large events like commencement.
“One weekend there’s a baseball tournament going on and a cheer event on campus, but the clients go elsewhere because there are not enough rooms,” Ramirez said. “So as soon as building starts, we’ll see an immediate impact.”
Despite the concern of ongoing traffic, some residents are supportive of the potential revenue increase the increased tourism could provide.
San Marcos resident Rachel Walker says she believes that the construction of hotels would add to the city’s profits.
“I think it’s good because the outlets attract more people and more revenue,” Walker said. “I think (the hotels) should expand as much as land allows them to.”
Walker believes that most of the traffic will generate from outlets because of its popularity, in addition to the location of the new hotel.
Resident Jaqueline Dao said she is unsure how San Marcos would take to the big city atmosphere that tourism would bring.
“Living in Houston, it’s so congested,” Dao said. “So I think it would really change the vibe here, because we’re so small town and I’m not sure how we’ll handle it.”
Despite her concerns, Dao said tourism is the main benefit from the increase of hotels and believes the city deserves to be visited.
“I think it’s great for the city and just tourism in general,” Dao said. “(We’ll) have more revenue, more people, and more business in general. I feel kind of sad for The Square because they don’t get enough visitors.”
Ramirez hopes to see more profit for San Marcos and believes it will happen once the hotels break ground in the upcoming months. People will have the opportunity to spend more time in the city, Ramirez said.
“We also lose business because people don’t stay or eat here,” Ramirez said. “With more hotels, people will eat here, and they will fuel up here in the city.”