ACL Fest helps boost businesses after rough pandemic year

ACL

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s weekend two of Austin City Limits Music Festival, and some local businesses in Austin say it’s bringing a much-needed boost along Barton Springs Road.

ACL-goers like Mia Beacom and Maranda King made it their mission to explore Austin-centric restaurants and businesses.

“Local food is amazing; I’ve been trying to go through all the food trucks,” King said.

Revenue has more than doubled this weekend at Baby Acapulco’s since last weekend. Assistant General Manager Cindy Frost says the festival’s exposure continues to set them up for a successful quarter.

“This weekend, being that it is the last weekend, we have more people coming out,” Frost explained. “I think having ACL has really helped. It is opening up to a lot of people that never heard of Baby A’s.”

The broader impact is being felt across the City of Austin, too.

“This month of October is a great way to start fiscal year,” said Tom Noonan, president and CEO of Visit Austin. “The numbers in 2021 in terms of hotel occupancy and hotel rates, both downtown and across the city, are higher in 2021 than 2019.”

Noonan says the tourism industry is seeing strong weekends, thanks to the return of festivals and some conventions, but more traffic has to come in during the week.

“We’re not going to get that hotel tax completely back until the meetings and convention platform is back Monday through Thursday, and these festivals are back,” Noonan said. “That’s important to Austinites, because the hotel tax funds so many of the arts organizations, so much of the heritage, and we’ve got to get that collection back.”

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