Mayors Rush Aisles to Show Bang for Tourism's Bucks

It was a battle of the Twin Cities Wednesday afternoon, all for a good cause and to show the importance of tourism.

HEB Tower Point in College Station hosted Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski and College Station Mayor Nancy Berry as they roamed the aisles and stuffed their carts for the first Tourism Savings Showdown. The person who got closest to $800 in eight minutes would be declared the winner.

The Bryan/College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau put on the event as part of National Tourism Month to show how many groceries could be bought for $800, which is what each Texas household saves each year because of tourism, according to the CVB.

"Tourism also brings in jobs, and therefore, salaries to a lot of people, and it's not just hotels and attractions," said Shannon Overby, the executive director of the B/CS CVB. "It's retail and grocery stores that benefit from tourism as well. Tailgating at Texas A&M? They come here to HEB to buy all of their meats and tailgating supplies. It certainly does impact all of us."

Mayor Bienski ended up the winner, coming within $55 of the $800 mark. In addition to the visual reminder of tourism's impact, the Brazos Valley Food Bank benefited from about $3,000 in groceries donated to it as a result of the event.

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