Sunday, July 14, 2024

Granbury celebrates tourism impact with friends of tourism brunch


Visit Granbury's celebration was the third annual Friends of Tourism Celebration Brunch, held at the Lake Granbury Conference Center Wednesday, May 22. The event, open to the community, brought together tourism stakeholders and partners to demonstrate their support for Granbury's thriving tourism industry.

The City of Granbury Convention & Visitors Bureau — Visit Granbury — commemorated National Travel and Tourism Week from May 19 to 25, spotlighting the vital role of tourism in the local and regional economy and the State of Texas.

Nate Gieryn, deputy director of Travel Texas, spoke about the significance of tourism to the Texas economy and Granbury's various state designations received through the Governor's Office.

City Manager Chris Coffman stressed the importance of tourism to everyone in Granbury. At the same time, Mayor Pro Tem Steven Vale officially recognized National Travel and Tourism Week and its impact on Granbury and Hood County.

Several individuals and organizations were honored with Distinguished Friends of Tourism Awards at the ceremony. State Sen. Brian Birdwell, state Rep. Shelby Slawson and Stacie Howell were recognized for their outstanding contributions to tourism.

Sam Houston of the Hood County News was named Media Partner of the Year.

Brian Bondy from the Granbury Chamber of Commerce, Rick Neely representing the Lonestar Street Rod Association 49th Annual State Run, the Granbury Dallas Spartan Trifecta, and Granbury Dallas Tough Mudder teams were also acknowledged as Distinguished Friends of Tourism. 

Hard Eight BBQ and Vicki Nivens were selected as the Lake Granbury Conference Center's picks for their significant contributions.

Sue Ooten and Suzanne Walshe were honored as Distinguished Volunteers, while Dicey Smith received the Volunteer of the Year award.

The Visit Granbury History Ambassadors and the Volunteer Information Professionals (VIPs) team were also recognized for their dedication and service.

Tammy Dooley, director of Visit Granbury and the Granbury Convention & Visitors Bureau, outlined the organization's mission to promote Granbury as a premier destination for leisure and business travel to positively impact the city's economy.

Dooley highlighted the significant impact of tourism on Granbury's economy, citing Travel Texas' report of $56.3 million in direct travel spending in 2023, which includes purchases made by travelers during their visit, such as lodging taxes and other applicable local and state taxes.

“Direct tax receipts amounted to $4.5 million. In Hood County, the impact was even greater, with $81 million in direct travel spending and $7.5 million in direct tax receipts,” Dooley said. Underscoring the strength of Granbury's economy, she added, “As evidenced by our strong hotel occupancy tax (HOT) revenues, and our increasing sales tax. In 2023, Granbury, for the first time ever, experienced two consecutive years of hotel occupancy tax over $1M.”

The celebration featured local entertainers and showcased the new Visit Granbury Celebration Capital of Texas promotional video. Plans are already underway for the 2025 event.

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