F1 race helped San Antonio
City saw increase in hotel revenue, and shoppers boosted Black Friday profits early.
Some came by private jet, wielding American Express black cards. Many others came for the plentiful rooms, reasonable rates, the cultural amenities and proximity.
Altogether, thousands of Formula One racing fans crowded into San Antonio last month for the inaugural United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin.
From Wednesday, Nov. 14, through the grand prix race on Sunday, Nov. 18, room revenue at San Antonio hotels surged. Compared with the same period a year ago, revenue was up more than 40 percent — $5 million — to about $16.5 million total.
“This is probably the first time in the history of our city that it has benefited from an event that it had nothing to do with,” said George Mery, who operates limousine and charter services in both San Antonio and Austin. “This is