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For area hoteliers, Austin’s inaugural Formula One race was definitely a grand prix.
During the five-day period ending with the race on Sunday, Nov. 18, Austin area hotels took in $32 million — triple what they made during the same stretch the previous year. And that five-day period in 2011 included a University of Texas home football game against Kansas State.
“Basically, we had a very good weekend,” said Bob Lander, president and CEO of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau. Lander said that in some instances F1-related revenues were “astronomical” and far exceeded expectations.
The statistics were com- piled by STR, or Smith Travel Research, which tracks hotel industry data and provides market share analyses for major chains and brands in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
This and other post-race economic analyses will be important for a number of reasons, including scheduling in future years and government financial involvement through the state’s Major Events Trust Fund.
Hotel revenues will be a key measure when the Circuit of the Americas tries to tap the Major Events Trust Fund for $30.6 million for this year’s race. State Comptroller Susan Combs has said the circuit will be reimbursed only for the money the United States