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Bryan city council approves new tourism organization and indoor event center

The city plans to use this to help boost tourism
Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 11:06 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The Bryan city council approved the creation of a new non-profit organization to run the tourism for the city. It is called Destination Bryan.

In a special meeting Thursday, council members approved both the creation of the organization and the first three board members. Those board members include Spencer Clements, Fern Jones, and Michael Thompson.

Bryan Mayor Andrew Nelson says the city is excited to have this organization hit the ground running.

“The timing to do that seems a little odd with coronavirus because we can’t just go and start doing events. But, in fact, the timing is actually good because it gives us time to start the organization and plan,” said Mayor Nelson.

The city will use Hotel Occupancy Taxes to fund this group.

Nelson says the organization is separate from the city, but will work closely with tourism within the City of College Station, Texas A&M University, the RELLIS campus, and the Downtown Bryan Association.

Katelyn Brown with the Downtown Bryan Association says this is an exciting partnership, something that will help boost downtown’s small businesses.

“When sporting events and conferences come here, they will know about Downtown Bryan, which is something we have always worked on doing before. But that commitment and partnership will be so much stronger moving forward,” said Brown.

The council also approved a $38 million indoor sports and events center. The center will be located at the new Travis Bryan Midtown Park. The plan is for it to be no less than 110,000 square feet and be big enough to fit at least eight high school size basketball courts that can be converted into volleyball courts.

The plan for Destination Bryan and the new event center was accepted by all council members, except councilman Mike Southerland. Councilman Buppy Simank was not on the telephone meeting and was counted absent.

Nelson says they believe this new center could bring in more than 500,000 new tourists to town, which he believes will be a big help following the pandemic.

“If they come here and spend ten bucks a piece while they are here, you are talking five million dollars and that is a big impact,” said Nelson.

The Secretary of State will now look over approving Destination Bryan as a non-profit. Once approved, the organization plans to begin operating August 1.

Copyright 2020 KBTX. All rights reserved.

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