F1 race helped San An­to­nio

City saw in­crease in ho­tel rev­enue, and shop­pers boosted Black Fri­day prof­its early.

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - Byjohn Ma­her jma­her@states­man.com

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

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