Comment of the Day: Houston Is Not a Destination

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOUSTON IS NOT A DESTINATION “The population of Orlando in 1950 was @ 140k. Vegas was @50k. Walt Disney bought up a bunch of cow pastures and swamp land to build Disney World. Vegas was just a place for nuke bomb scientists to live safely away from a-bomb test ranges before Bugsy Siegel showed up and bought desert land that no one wanted to build casinos (dooming Galveston as a gambling venue, ironically). Anyone wanting to build a tourist-worthy venue in Houston will go broke just trying to buy the land. Houston is a great place for visitors. Everyone I have ever hosted had a whale of a time. But, when those folks go home, they don’t tell their friends “you should visit Houston.’ They say ‘if you are ever in Houston, you should . . .'” [Old School, commenting on Comment of the Day: Where To Put a Tourist Gauntlet in Reliant Park]

12 Comment

  • I agree. Houston is typically just a jumping off point for my out of town visitors. From here they make trips down to Galveston, Clear Lake (NASA), San Antonio (River Walk), Fredericksburg (Hill Country). As far as Houston, its mainly just shopping, eating and drinking.

  • Great point, Old School. One of the first things I learned when I moved here in 1998, is that Houston is a great place to live and work. But to visit as a tourist – not so much. Better to get out there and really sell our diverse population, business friendly environment, top-notch universities and schools, and comparatively low cost of living.
    Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of demand for ‘touristy’ things to do here – but it’s really not going to be more than weekend getaways for Houstonians. Not the kind of thing we can market ourselves on.

  • One Houston strength is that people mostly underestimate it.

  • Houston is and always will be overshadowed by San Antonio and New Orleans as a tourist destination in this part of the country. Houston is one of the most underrated cities in terms of a vacation destination, it actually has tons going for it: great museums, NASA, Galveston and the coast, world class restaurants, upscale shopping, great parks, etc–Houston will never be San Antonio, but it certainly has a lot to offer vacationers

  • The bottom line is that there is plenty to do if you happen to find yourself here, but none of it is going to bring you here. Which is probably not unlike Dallas, Atlanta, Phoenix and lots of other places…..and thats ok.

  • > Houston is and always will be
    > overshadowed by San Antonio

    The appeal of San Antonio as a tourist destination is completely lost on me. Riverwalk is poorly done and the Alamo doesn’t exist (and is not a point of pride in any case). Do they really get that many tourists who are not there for a convention?

    I honestly believe that if they turned the Astrodome into an indoor ski center and updated the Spacecenter then that + great food + Schlitterban + Menil + reasonable prices makes Houston worthy of a 1-week family vacation in the summer.

  • Here’s a film from 1957 I have uploaded to You Tube. Briefly it shows what a trip to Houston is about: Arrive at the airport, stay at the Shamrock, visit the oil industry, leave.
    That’s certainly what my family did in the ’50s – although we did visit the Zoo!

  • I think Great Wolf Lodge should open one here somewhere. We need some amusement parks. This indoor one is perfect. Build two. One in The Woodlands and one in Sealy.

    No need for tourists. The population who lives here can make it worthwhile. Look at how Lost Pines is always booked.

  • Patrick – I’m with you on the San Antonio thing. I could see going there with kids for Sea World and the zoo, but I don’t get what adults go there for. The Alamo is an “ok, that’s nice, what’s next” kind of thing and I don’t even remotely understand the river walk’s attraction.

  • My point was that we should greet any plan to spend oodles of money to attract tourism with a collective and indignant “pppffffttt”. In the various cities I have lived in I have seen so much money wasted in the name of attracting tourism. Underground Atlanta, the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, come to mind as projects promised to boost tourism with a heavy public price tag that made little difference. Houston should focus on making Houston better for Houstonians and not get caught up in silly schemes to attract tourists.

  • I had family visiting from Asia and stay with us for three weeks early in May. With the museums, shopping, lakes, beach, parks, shows and restaurants we ran out of time and could not get to everything Houston has to offer. We took them to San Antonio and Austin and for them it was quite an underwhelming experience. They absolutely loved Houston and their time here

  • United States Department of Armed Forces, we have no need for defense, police, military, ice, DEA and FBI, CIA fake crap………. The National Guard and Coast Guard are our National Police forces, no military crap anymore, this is a profession taught in a military Academy setting only, hence our need for veterans to stay on with DOD since these are Armed forces (you know the secret is that it means arms, the two you are born with, you must be able to run, jump, lift across the board standards, no women get a break or fat people can stop to rest…..that kills people when fires break out or if we do need to chase a something down, like running after a car rolling towards anything…….The National Guard Armory controls all automatic military designed weapons ever issued or made, it is illegal to own these and they were never sold to the public or made by any private company or person since their basic metals and construction specs were never disclosed and the make of these gun metals is a specific formula, one need for any bullet to properly fire through the chamber, otherwise it kicks back inside the barrel (meaning it goes boom, kinda like a mini explosion inside a hard metal tube, you et a lot of burnt powder, causing a powder burn if you are at either end of these poorly designed jokes of the world fake guns, it is what most people own…… since none of you hunt anything, you van barely shoot darts stupids, so gun ranges or it as a skill any of you really have mastered, well again a joke…..