Chet Garner, 'Daytripper' star passionate about restoring historic structures in Georgetown

Chet Garner stands in the retail storefront of The Daytripper World Headquarters in Georgetown. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
Chet Garner stands in the retail storefront of The Daytripper World Headquarters in Georgetown. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)

Chet Garner stands in the retail storefront of The Daytripper World Headquarters in Georgetown. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)

Chet Garner grew up in Southeast Texas, attended The University of Texas at Austin for undergrad and Baylor University for law school. He moved back to Austin in 2006—it was there he wished for a travel show featuring what to eat, see and do in small Texas towns. Since none existed, Garner decided to make the show himself, airing the first episode in 2009. More than a decade later he is still traveling for "The Daytripper," but he’s called Georgetown home base since 2012 and opened The Daytripper World Headquarters downtown last year.

You’ve been to so many towns; why live in Georgetown?

At UT I fell in love with Austin and Central Texas. As I started having kids I realized I still wanted to be in Central Texas, but in a small town. Georgetown is a perfect mix; it’s close to the city, but when I walk a few doors down to get lunch I’ll see five people I know. We’re isolated here, and we all know each other; the big city is just at our fingertips if we want it, or we can forget it’s there.

What makes Georgetown unique?

If I rattle off all the things I want in the perfect Texas city, Georgetown has it: a beautiful square; a deep, rich history; amazing food; a river running through; beautiful parks; and within an hour I can be at some of the most beautiful places in the world. Georgetown has the most beautiful square in Texas. I’ve visited a bunch of them, and this is the prettiest one.


How has your business grown here?

When we moved to Georgetown I rented some space above Novita Spa, a small office. Then we bought the building that houses Mikey V’s Hot Sauce Shop; we worked out of the back and leased the front to him. We were outgrowing that space, and Mikey wanted to grow, so we transferred over here (211 W. Eighth St.) when we had the opportunity to buy this building—we know we’re going to grow. The walls here are from 1890. We pull up floorboards and find horseshoes, and we just found a headlight from a 1920s automobile. When we bought it I didn’t even know it had a wood floor—it had carpet, tile, plywood, tile, then wood. It was like an archeological dig.

What future plans do you have for your show and video production company, Hogaboom Road?

The show is going to continue until they kick me off. The production company is adding clients constantly—we’ve been doing some really fun projects, such as all the Smokey the Bear commercials for the Texas Forest Services, commercials for Don Hewlett Chevrolet, Best Western International [and more]. That’s where the real growth is going to happen. Hogaboom Road is a stool and The Daytripper is a single leg.

You own three local buildings; is that part of your brand?

It’s a total side thing and something I never expected. When we moved to Georgetown, I thought it would be awesome to have a piece of this as far as stewarding a building. I don’t consider myself an owner of these buildings, rather a steward, because at some point I’ll die, and they’ll pass on to someone else. Much had been neglected; we had to gut some things, put on a new roof, new tresses [and more]. But I've stabilized them, and then they’ll pass on to the next person someday. You’ve got to leave it better than you found it.

Some people fear Georgetown’s rapid growth will destroy small-town charm. What do you think?

We have to realize we’re stewarding a very fragile thing, so we have to make decisions that maintain the atmosphere we want. [In owning buildings] I can make sure those are filled with the sort of businesses that facilitate the vision I want for Georgetown. I hope all the other building and business owners share a common vision: that we want to maintain all the reasons that drew us to Georgetown. There’s no stopping the growth, so how do we make the best decisions, not for ourselves and what puts the most money in our pockets, but for the city? Every time I’ve had an opportunity to change a tenant or do something with the buildings I ask if it adds to downtown. Brave Vira Yoga is an example: It would be more profitable if I’d chopped it up and turned that space into offices, but that’s bad for the Square; we need businesses that add to this wonderful serendipity. We need bars and restaurants, but we don’t only need bars and restaurants. I don’t want to see Georgetown turn into Sixth Street [in Austin], but I also don’t want to see it turn into an outside flea market or antique mall. We need to cater to fun, visionary entrepreneurs. As long as we maintain diversity of businesses and diversity on all fronts, then we’ll continue to be a very vibrant, cool place.
SHARE THIS STORY
By Sally Grace Holtgrieve

Sally Grace Holtgrieve solidified her passion for news during her time as Editor-in-Chief of Christopher Newport University's student newspaper, The Captain's Log. She started her professional career at The Virginia Gazette and moved to Texas in 2015 to cover government and politics at The Temple Daily Telegram. She started working at Community Impact Newspaper in February 2018 as the Lake Travis-Westlake reporter and moved into the role of Georgetown editor in June 2019.


MOST RECENT

Georgetown ISD
Georgetown ISD to adopt 2-year calendar Feb. 18

Families can plan ahead with the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school year calendars.

The annual Red Poppy Festival on the Georgetown Square runs April 24-26. (Courtesy Georgetown Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Mark Chesnutt to headline 2020 Red Poppy Festival in Georgetown

Chesnutt’s top singles include “Brother Jukebox,” “I’ll Think of Something,” “It Sure is Monday” and “I Just Wanted You to Know.”

The Georgetown mayor is elected at-large and the council members are elected from single-member districts. This map shows the district breakdown in the city. (Courtesy city of Georgetown)
Candidates file to run for Georgetown mayor, City Council seats

The deadline to file for a place on the May 2 election ballot was Feb. 14.

Georgetown ISD
See who is running for Georgetown ISD school board

Four people have filed for two seats in the May 2 Georgetown ISD school board election.

Mickie Ross has served as the executive director of The Williamson Museum since 2010, according to a Feb. 14 news release. (Courtesy The Williamson Museum)
Executive Director Mickie Ross resigns from The Williamson Museum

Mickie Ross, executive director of The Williamson Museum since 2010, is stepping down from her role.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in San Antonio on Feb. 13. The case is the 15th known COVID-19, commonly referred to in recent weeks as coronavirus, infection in the United States so far. (Courtesy Adobe stock photos)
The first coronavirus case in Texas was just confirmed. Here is what Austinites need to know about the virus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in San Antonio this morning, according to a news release from the federal agency.

Resource fair exhibitors and sponsors offer services and guidance in legal planning, caregiving, health, wellness, volunteering, active aging and more. (Courtesy Vibrant Living! A Senior Empowerment Event)
Second annual Vibrant Living! A Senior Empowerment Event expects about 450 attendees

A resource fair, workshops and informational sessions will be offered.

Registered Williamson County residents can cast ballots at any of the 18 early voting polling location in the county. (Beth Marshall/Community Impact Newspaper)
MAP: Early voting locations for the 2020 primaries in Williamson County

Early voting begins Feb. 18. Primary election day is March 3.

Williamson County
Commissioners allocate $2M of remaining capital improvement allotment for FY 2019-20

The county's capital improvement program budget had $3.3 million left to be allocated.

Heart of the Headwrap with Chesley Antoinette.
Celebrate Black History Month, Valentine's Day and more: 5 things to do in Georgetown, Feb. 13-15

Learn how to wrap a headwrap as part of the Black History Month events in Georgetown.

The distillery will be located on the site of the former City Council chambers. (Courtesy Hitch Hall)
Hitch Hall distillery to open on the Georgetown Square this fall

The distillery will make gin, vodka, whiskey and liqueurs on site and showcase them in craft cocktails sold in the adjacent tasting room.

GISD state of the district 2020
GALLERY: Students shine at annual Georgetown ISD State of the District

"Our job is to secure the future," Georgetown ISD Superintendent Fred Brent said.

Back to top