AUSTIN (KXAN) — Formula 1 racing means big money for the Austin economy.
“I was walking around downtown yesterday, and everyone had their certain team’s shirts on, hats on, everything,” said Katie Shyman, who is in town from Phoenix.
It is a big weekend for fans but also local businesses.
“Formula 1 weekend in Austin is our biggest and busiest weekend when it comes to how our hotels are seeing business, our restaurants, our venues,” said Wesley Lucas with Visit Austin.
Visit Austin says attendance has continued to rise year after year. Last year, the event had about 440,000 people for the entire three-day event.
“Last study estimated that about 65 percent of the folks that attend the race are from out of town,” said Lucas.
All those travelers need a place to stay, and many Austin hotels see a boost in business.
“High occupancy week for us, a lot of international clients,” said Jacob Weaver, Hotel ZaZa Austin’s GM.
This is one of the busiest weekends for Hotel ZaZa, and it requires a lot of preparations.
“We start preparing at the end of the event for the following year,” said Weaver.
Many restaurants and bars also see an impact from F1 weekend. Group Therapy, located in Hotel ZaZa, should be crowded all weekend, according to the staff.
“We are definitely seeing a rise in group therapy reservations at the moment,” said Adam Fort, Hotel ZaZa Austin director of sales. “So we are nearly full each evening.”
Visit Austin said in 2021, the race generated about $434,000,000 for the City of Austin.
Hotel ZaZa says they have a guest package that involves a helicopter dropping people off at F1.
Visit Austin says the average daily rate for a hotel during last year’s event was around $439, but the highest rate downtown was $787 for a Saturday night downtown.