Tourists spent $318M in Round Rock in 2018. What does that mean for locals?

The Ruby Hotel is one of four hotels that have opened to date in Round Rock in 2019.

The Ruby Hotel is one of four hotels that have opened to date in Round Rock in 2019.

Tourists visiting Round Rock accounted for $318 million in direct travel spending in 2018, according to data from the Travel Texas Economic Impact Report and the Round Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau.

From these expenditures, the city collected $29 million in tax revenue in 2018, according to an Oct. 8 news release. Round Rock collected roughly the same—$29.1 million—in tax revenue in 2017, up from $26.6 million in 2016, according to data provided by the city.

Local businesses benefit from the direct spending money while tourists are in town eating at local restaurants, staying in hotels and shopping. In addition, the city invests tax revenue back into the community to improve infrastructure and generate employment opportunities, per the release.

Round Rock’s reputation as one of the country’s best places to visit and live continues to spread,” said Chad McKenzie, Round Rock's sports management and tourism director, in the release. “The word is out. And as the city’s tourism grows, so does the revenue that we invest back into our community to improve the lives of our citizens. It’s truly a win-win.”

Money collected through tourism spending helps offset residents' property taxes. For fiscal year 2019-20, 35% of the city's revenue is expected to come from property taxes, 45% from sales tax and the remainder from other revenues, according to the city's budget office.

A growing industry


To support tourism and related activities, a hotel building boom is underway in Round Rock. This year, four new hotels have opened to date—the Ruby Hotel, Element by Westin, Aloft and Tru by Hilton. At least seven more are in various phases of construction and permitting at this time, including Kalahari Resorts & Conventions.

Kalahari will bring the world’s largest indoor water park, convention space and 975 hotel rooms to Round Rock. By the end of 2020, more than 4,000 hotel rooms will be available across the city, per the release, and Kalahari will provide a convention center space with meeting capacity of up to 5,000 people.
By Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Buchanan joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2018 after completing a master of journalism degree from the University of Texas. She worked as the senior reporter for Community Impact's Southwest Austin edition and is now the editor for the company's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition.


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