Heavy tourist season expected in Amarillo - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Heavy tourist season expected in Amarillo

Amarillo, TX - If you live in Amarillo, you probably don't think of it as a tourist destination - but tourism is actually one of the city's biggest economic drivers, and local analysts expect a significant boost this year.

Tourism is an often-overlooked industry in Amarillo, but local tourism accounts for more than $300 million in direct spending every year.

"There are a lot of traditional sectors of our economy that we're all familiar with, like ranching, oil and gas, banking," says Eric Miller of the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce.  "But tourism is also up there as one of the largest sectors of the Amarillo economy."

Palo Duro Canyon and Route 66 draw visitors from all over the country, and the businesses along sixth street are especially reliant on tourism dollars.  Bubba Winchester, the manager of Smokey Joe's Bar & Grill, says he sees business pick up Substantially every year.

"Summer days, it's just crazy - crazy busy," says Winchester.  "You know, $3,000 lunches, $4,000 dinners -- very good days."

And the money that those tourists spend makes its way back into the local economy in both the short and long term.

"Tourism facilities are hotels, they're restaurants, they're attractions," says Miller.  "They're spread out throughout our city, but they employ over four thousand people in Potter and Randall County."

This year's local ANB economic forecast predicts a five percent increase in tourism in 2013.  If you'd like to see that forecast for yourself, follow the link attached to this story.

  • Heavy tourist season expected in AmarilloMore>>

  • SLIDESHOWS

    SLIDESHOWS

    Top headlines, events, weather, and more.
    Top headlines, events, weather, and more.
  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Ebola vaccinations begin in rural Congo on Monday: Ministry

    Ebola vaccinations begin in rural Congo on Monday: Ministry

    Saturday, May 26 2018 6:03 AM EDT2018-05-26 10:03:13 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 1:37 PM EDT2018-05-26 17:37:03 GMT
    A vaccination campaign continues in Mbandaka, the city of 1.2 million where four Ebola cases have been confirmed. (Source: (Louise Annaud/Medecins Sans Frontieres via AP)A vaccination campaign continues in Mbandaka, the city of 1.2 million where four Ebola cases have been confirmed. (Source: (Louise Annaud/Medecins Sans Frontieres via AP)

    Congo says confirmed Ebola cases rise to 35, with 10 deaths, as vaccinations continue.

    Congo says confirmed Ebola cases rise to 35, with 10 deaths, as vaccinations continue.

  • Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to the US Gulf

    Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to the US Gulf

    Saturday, May 26 2018 5:23 AM EDT2018-05-26 09:23:12 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 1:35 PM EDT2018-05-26 17:35:05 GMT
    A gradual strengthening is expected through the weekend as Alberto moves north. (Source: NOAA/CIRA/RAMMB/CNN)A gradual strengthening is expected through the weekend as Alberto moves north. (Source: NOAA/CIRA/RAMMB/CNN)

    A storm moving slowly through the Caribbean Sea is threatening to bring heavy rainfall, mudslides, and flash floods to parts of Mexico, Cuba, Florida and the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend.

    A storm moving slowly through the Caribbean Sea is threatening to bring heavy rainfall, mudslides, and flash floods to parts of Mexico, Cuba, Florida and the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend.

  • More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision

    More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision

    Saturday, May 26 2018 9:33 AM EDT2018-05-26 13:33:35 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 1:34 PM EDT2018-05-26 17:34:34 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File). FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Supreme Court in Washington is seen at sunset. A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through the courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File). FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Supreme Court in Washington is seen at sunset. A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through the courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the...

    A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and that'll continue, no matter what the Supreme Court decides in the case of a baker who wouldn't create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

    A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and that'll continue, no matter what the Supreme Court decides in the case of a baker who wouldn't create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

Powered by Frankly