The Silo District Marathon is quickly approaching.
“These people coming, spending money in our town, which ultimately helps our economic standing,” said Jonathan Cook, Events and Promotions for the City of Waco.
About 15% of Waco’s population is visiting the city this weekend.
“They want to go to that restaurant, they want to check out those antique shops, they want to see whats going on in East Waco, Austin Avenue and then obviously when they are driving in, they’re filling up with gas or using our airport,” added Cook.
All of that spending is adding up.
“If we just say we have 18 thousand people in town, and they spend about $100 each, some will spend more some will spend less that’s one point eight million dollars coming into the Waco economy,” said Carla Pendergraft, Director of Marketing at the Waco Convention & Visitors Bureau.
In fact, Waco has so many visitors that all of the hotels and Airbnb’s are completely booked.
“We’re having to refer people to Hillsboro, and Temple and Waco doesn’t get as many runners conventioneers or whatever the event may be because there’s no room at the inn,” said Pendergraft.
Events like this, shining a light on the lack of hotels in the area.
“You know, I think we need more hotel rooms to accommodate all of these people that love Waco and want to come here,” said Pendergraft.
“There’s definitely a need and it’s not just this event, it’s Baylor University, the football games, all of our events throughout the cities are seeing a dramatic rise and Waco has just become a tourist destination so part of that is when you have people coming in you want to have them a place to stay,” said Cook.
It’s not just big events drawing people in, it’s also Wacoans doing their part.
“Wacoans are so important in this effort, because if Wacoans can reach out and touch visitors in a positive way, say Welcome to Waco, where are you from, Where are you visiting, and encourage them to extend their stay encourage them to come back with other people then we can really parlay this into even more economic impact for the city of Waco,” said Pendergraft.
The marathon has become a worldwide attraction with 6,000 people running and over 10,000 people supporting those runners.