The Hot Rods and Hatters car show is rolling into town this weekend, and I for one am thrilled about the potential it has to for doing and bringing good things to the city of Gonzales.
Hundreds and hundreds of cars are expected for the show, which means all the area hotels and B&Bs should be filled to near full capacity. That is a good thing for our hospitality industry. Furthermore, the vast majority of people who are participating in the show are coming from outside of our immediate area, which means a good retail weekend for area merchants and lots of good exposure for the city and county of Gonzales.
This event could not have happened without the effort of a few people in particular. Rob Brown, who is on the ESD board, worked behind the scene to try and get the car show here. Clint Hille and the Gonzales Tourism Committee jumped on board and promised to do everything they could to woo the promoter to town and work the levers of the city to help accommodate the car show effort.
My hat is off to these folks, and all the people who have helped bring this event to Gonzales. The beginning of February has been a slow retail time for the city historically, so to create a two- to three-day event that will provide a huge economic stimulus to our community is a home run by any measure.
To Rob and his wife Lisa, Clint, the tourism committee, Mayor Connie Kacir, City Manager Tim Patek, and the staff and employees of the city of Gonzales all I can say is, “congratulations on a job well done!”
Now there are some skeptics and naysayers out there. There is justifiable concern about how much of the city HOT funds went into helping grease the skids for moving the show from Lockhart to Gonzales. A whopping $17,000, a huge portion of the tourism HOT fund kitty, went to the promoter to bring the show here. In addition, there are whispers that the secretive moving of the car show at the last minute from Lockhart to Gonzales looked devious and suspicious. Those whispers may have merit, but I think we need to embrace the show for what it is and try to open our hospitality arms this weekend and put our best foot forward in welcoming all of our visitors and guests to Gonzales. For everyone who is upset about the large financial contribution from the city, let’s see what the economic impact is on retail sales and hotel occupancy before everyone starts running their mouth and complaining.
Trying to bring a major event like this to Gonzales on a historically slow retail weekend is a bold move—and a smart one. Sometimes you have to gamble when you throw your hat into the ring, and I think it was appropriate that we tried. Now we can all await the results and make our conclusions afterwards.
Let’s just hope for good weather—please.
While I am giving out kudos, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Gonzales ISD Education Foundation on a terrific job last Saturday night. Amber Withers and her board put on a magnificent Casino Night at the J.B. Wells Expo Center, and hundreds and hundreds of attendees enjoyed a great steak dinner, fellowship, and the fun of Casino Night.
These people work year-round without fanfare to try and improve the quality of education here in Gonzales and do it solely for their desire to help teachers provide better educational opportunities for our children. I salute them, their values and all their hard work. Well done Gonzales ISD Education Foundation!
And one last thing on a personal note: I can’t wait for this weekend as my oldest daughter, the mother of two of my five grandbabies, will be visiting Gonzales for the very first time. To say that this Daddy is excited would be an understatement. Welcome to Gonzales, TX Stephanie Marie!