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Texas 4-H Roundup providing big economic boost to B/CS heading into summer

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 10:48 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The Texas 4-H Roundup is back in town, bringing roughly 1,300 of its competitors and their families along with it.

The largest youth development program in Texas is having big impacts on the local economy after its annual statewide competition was canceled last year. It signals things are getting back to normal just in time for summer.

“This is the first year we have been able to expand into the communities,” Texas 4-H State Council President Luke Read said. “Usually, we are at the campus of Texas A&M and Reed Arena.”

Hotels in Bryan-College Station, like the Hyatt Place on University Drive, are housing the student competitors and their families for the next three nights as the event features 50 diverse competitions that tie into the many projects 4-H has to offer.

Julie Freeman is the area director of sales and marketing for the Oldham Goodwin Group and oversees four local hotels.

“We’ve got a couple hundred 4-H kids here in town, and it’s just an honor to have them stay at all four of my hotels,” Freeman said.

Freeman says 4-H families account for about 75% of her total guests this week.

“Last year at this time, we may have had 20% occupancy,” Freeman said. “This weekend, we’re at 100% occupancy. It’s made all the difference. What a difference a year makes.”

It’s the same story for local restaurants, especially Mr. G’s Pizzeria, which is just around the corner from Tuesday’s 4-H kickoff event in Downtown Bryan. Owner Susan Carnes says there’s no comparison to what it was like a year ago, going form delivery only to a full house.

“I love having the 4-H here. We have been poppin’ since they’ve gotten here,” Carnes said. “We’ve hosted parties of 45. We’ve got two now of 20. We can house it. We’re big. I love them being here.”

Carnes says she hopes it’s a sign of what’s to come the rest of the summer.

“I hope this starts out the summer with a bang. I hope we’re like this the whole summer,” Carnes said. “I don’t want any of these college kids are gone, so everything’s dead. No, no. No, no. We’re going to stay full.”

Both Freeman and Carnes say they’re excited for the outlook for the rest of the year. A packed summer leads right into Texas A&M move-in weekend and football season.

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