DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — It’s no secret that Central Texas is booming. A recent report ranked the Austin metropolitan area as the second fastest-growing economy in the country.
With the inundation of new residents to the area, some undoubtedly spill over into neighboring towns.
Dripping Springs is one of those towns – its population nearly tripled from 2010 to 2020, according to 2020 census data.
With population growth comes a need for more restaurants to feed those folks, and Dripping Springs is seeing a few more fast-food chains arriving.
But not everyone in Dripping Springs is happy about these new fast food restaurants. Some feel they are a reflection of the changing nature of the town.
“This is kind of a quieter kind of community. I think locals would like to keep it more Mom and Pop. You know, kind of original places to come and eat,” said Andrea Verde, a Dripping Springs resident.
“It does bring in more traffic. And I think that’s the biggest complaint, which is not that you don’t want things to progress, but sometimes, it’s a little just, it changes things,” she continued.
Two new, and potentially a couple more, fast food chains are being built in the Belterra neighborhood of Dripping Springs along the US-290. One is a Panda Express and the other is a P. Terry’s, a chain that started in Central Texas.
“I think it is changing a little bit,” Verde said. “(Dripping Spring locals) want to keep it just more small town – just friendly and not so busy.”
Conversely, Pamala Green, a local business owner who has lived in the area for 40 years, welcomes the changes to her city.
“[Dripping Springs] used to be one blinking light and the Dairy Queen,” Green said.
“There’s a flood of people” Green said. “And it’s very nice because we have great people that are coming here. I’ve met a lot of new people and (made) a lot of new friends.”
“I tell them to come on because it’s a great place to live,” she continued.
More fast-food restaurants coming to town is more of a positive than a negative to her, Green said.
“I’d rather have a lot more fast food chains coming in,” Green said. “There’s not many here.”
“I feel like the small town feel is still here,” she said. “All the people that are moving here, that’s what they’re moving here for. So, I think that’s going to stick with us. No matter if we grow or not and it’s inevitable that we’re gonna grow”