Destination Attraction

Retail strip in San Marcos
Visit The Malls Annually
Within 60 Miles
Retail Stores
In San Marcos' Signature Shopping District

Destination Attraction

Destination attractions leverage the world-class shopping and hospitality in the Texas Innovation Corridor with the region’s outlet malls, natural assets, downtowns, historical districts, and activity centers. The outlet malls in San Marcos alone draw approximately 14 million visitors/consumers a year.

According to U.S. Census data, the majority of retail sold in Hays and Caldwell Counties (approximately 58-65%) is sold to customers who are not residents of the area. This is typically not the case for the retail sector, as the state average is 22.7 percent for non-resident consumers.

Popular Tourism Hotspot

Between the presence of Texas State University - the fifth-largest university in the State of Texas - the natural beauty, downtown districts, historical areas, and activity centers in the Texas Innovation Corridor serve as a major advantage for Destination Attractions sector.

People floating on tubes in the river
Ready To Work

There are nearly 16,000 workers employed in the region’s Destination Attractions subsectors, which include retail, entertainment, lodging, and food services categories. The retail sector alone for the city of San Marcos has a location quotient of 2.39, nearly three times the national concentration rate. The region's two outlet malls (Tanger Outlets San Marcos & San Marcos Premium Outlets) are among the region’s top employers with more than 3,000 employed across the two employers.

Customers picking out some cookies in Lockhart business
Key Destination Attraction Advantages
Location & Highway Traffic

By far, the most significant advantage for Destination Attractions in the Texas Innovation Corridor is its key geographic location along the I-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio. Those markets, in addition to access provided to the two cities’ international airports, means that travel to the region is easy for regional, domestic, and international visitors.

College Town Effect

With more than 38,000 students, Texas State University is an advantage for Destination Attractions sector. In addition to the consistent student body base, the incumbent student, faculty, and staff populations also provide a steady source of consumer traffic. Visitors to the institution by way of campus tours, graduations, sporting events, cultural activity and more provide another ongoing supply of consumer traffic.

Destination Spots

Nearly each community in the Texas Innovation Corridor is renown for a cultural identification, many of which have received official designated by the Texas Legislature.

Buda is called the “Outdoor Capital of Texas” thanks to the 268 acres of public parks in the city, including the 54-acre Historic Stagecoach Park, many hike and bike trails, a skatepark, an amphitheater, splash pads and more.

Dripping Springs is branded as the “Wedding Capital of Texas,” featuring more than 30 wedding venues and more than 1,500 weddings annually.

Kyle is famously known as "The Pie Capital of Texas," which is celebrated annually during their Pie in the Sky hot air balloon festival.

Lockhart has garnered national and international attention for its world-famous barbecue, resulting in the region being proclaimed as the “Barbecue Capital of Texas” by the Texas Legislature.

Luling, home of the Watermelon Thump Festival, is home to several of Texas' most prominent watermelon crops.

San Marcos is the most recent community to be designated with an official moniker, being named as "The Mermaid Capital of Texas" by the Texas State Legislature in 2021. Mermaids have long been a symbol in San Marcos as a reminder of Central Texas’ water resources.

Progressive Improvements & Amenities

All city districts in the Texas Innovation Corridor have recently undergone improvements that are key to providing lifestyle amenities, including hotels, diverse housing options, a larger portfolio of restaurants and retail, and other attractions for residents and visitors alike. The aforementioned natural amenities and attractions in the region, most prominently its rivers, can help extend travelers stays and attract tourists to the outlet malls who might not otherwise visit the region.

Download a one page overview of the Destination Attraction industry sector

Key Industry
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