With the Kerrville Triathlon Festival in town last weekend there were going to be some road and lane closures to accommodate the cycling portions of the event’s various races. The biggest impact was closing the cross street at Sidney Baker and Water Street, which caused a significant backup, especially for those headed north across the bridge.
For weeks leading up to the triathlon, which attracted a record number of participants and spectators, the city of Kerrville put out notices where the closures would occur. There were also notices on social media, in this newspaper and on the radio. It couldn’t have been more clear that there would be delays.
However, sure enough, we got letters to the editor from readers complaining about the events and delays. One reader suggested that events shouldn’t be held here at all. Now, we’re never surprised by push back on things, because there’s always going to be differing opinions, but the letters gave us pause.
So, we asked The Daily Times’ readers on Facebook what they thought about events. Are they a good thing, or are they a bad idea?
Their response was overwhelmingly in favor of events in the community, with 94% of nearly 500 respondents saying they liked the events. The triathlon is a tricky event for any city to overcome, but believe it or not Kerrville is well positioned to handle an event like this for decades.
The investments in the River Trail and Louise Hays Park gives Kerrville a distinct advantage over other communities when it comes to hosting endurance-based sporting events. Further investment in the trail system should make this area even more attractive to competitors in the future.
Now, consider the simple economics of an event like the triathlon, which features a nice start time at 7:30 a.m., and to really be ready for an event like that you’re going to need to spend the night. In the triathlon’s three main events there 1,333 competitors — some did two races. However, consider that at least 750 people stayed the night to compete in the Sunday morning race. That’s a lot of economic impact when it comes to occupancy taxes.
No event is ever going to be perfect, but this is a great thing for our community to bring in new dollars, fill up our restaurants and hotels and showcase how great it is to visit the Hill Country.