Comment of the Day: Where To Put a Tourist Gauntlet in Reliant Park

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHERE TO PUT A TOURIST GAUNTLET IN RELIANT PARK “I’d leave the rail right where it is. Create a City Walk space from the light rail to the Dome. Shopping, night life, restaurants, movies, etc. Sure it’s touristy, but most events at Reliant are visited by tourists.” [Thomas, commenting on Under Plan, Astrodome Would Slim Down Exterior, Shorten Up and Fatten Inside]

15 Comment

  • Houston doesn’t have tourists. Houston has vistors. People visit Houston to see family, for special events, conventions, for business and so on. But people do not go to Houston on vacation. There is simply no comparison between Houston and Boston, LA, San Fran, Washington DC etc when it comes to tourism. Houston is also boiling hot when everyone is on summer vacation and not warm enough for Christmas break vacation. And that is fine with me. Tourists clog up restaurants, bring out stupid t-shirt shops and fill the street with silly duck boat cars and double decker buses. So, when planning for the Astrodome and related facilities, just do what is needed to keep the visitors happy. Do not delude yourself into believing that some giant investment will turn Houston into a tourist town.

  • On top of that, Old School, the vast majority of people who attend events at Reliant Stadium are not tourists, or visitors. They are locals. And they arrive in private cars, not choo-choo trains.

    METROrail currently serves less than 30,000 riders in an ENTIRE DAY. There’s no way it could accommodate 70,000 people arriving for a Texans game, or soccer game, or bowl game, or any other event.

  • Tourists or none, this idea is doomed from the start. Reliant’s contract has a clause that prevents anyone from building anything on their grounds that competes with the existing businesses for dollars. That’s been broadly interpreted to mean anything that makes money from food and entertainment. One rail stop drops you off right onto the curb of the property, so unless other properties across the street were leveraged, we’re out of luck here.

  • Just because Houston isn’t a tourist town now doesn’t mean it can never be one. We have to start somewhere. Orlando and Las Vegas were not always what they are today you know. There are 3 other seasons in Houston besides summer. 9 months out of 12 the weather in Houston is a non-issue. And as long as you have access to a pool 12 out of 12 months are a non-issue. BITCH ON!

  • Why do we need to become a tourist town? Must city leaders seek out tourism by default?

  • When I travel and people ask me about visiting Houston, I always have the same response: If you have a friend who lives in Houston who knows your tastes and has a car, you will have a spectacular time. But if you just show up as a tourist, not knowing much about the city, it will suck. There are a ton of things to do in Houston. But they are spread out in small pockets all over town and without a local guide who knows your tastes, you won’t find much, if any, of it.

  • @Rodrigo I don’t think every town needs tourists, and Houston has certainly survived just fine without them. What we could use are a few amenities for people in and around the area to enjoy.

    Lack of tourism is often used to speak to a bigger issue of not having attractions worthy of drawing tourists, simply meaning someone wishes we had more places to spend entertainment money.
    For some reason, Houston’s not big on trying to fill the entertainment market (unless you consider food entertainment), even though it’s got so much pent up demand. Just try finding parking at Top Golf to test this theory.

  • @BITCH: The population of Orlando in 1950 was @ 140k. Vegas was @50k. Walt Disney bought up a bunch 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 . . . . “

  • My only point is that if you can make a major tourist destination out of a swamp or a dessert wasteland where nothing or no one existed, it is ‘possible’ to make one out of an area with 6 million residents, beaches to the south, forest to the north, and one of the best economies in the world – if you have a mind to (especially if you have hundreds of square miles of vacant land spreading out in all directions, a business friendly climate and modest building regulations and restrictions.

    Not saying I expect Houston to be the next Vegas before Superbowl LI comes to town. But it’s not like tourist zones don’t pop out of nowhere from time to time when conditions are right. I’m not arguing that Houston current attracts as many visitors as it should for a city of its size, but truth is, NO one know what the future holds for Houston on this topic. Anything is possible in this town.

    Being the flat, mosquito ridden, backwater bayou swamp, with unbreathable air and humidity, with a bad reputation we shouldn’t even exist in the first place. No one in their right mind would go to a place like that let alone MOVE there, right? Well, if we can attract millions and millions and millions of people to come LIVE here, it shouldn’t be IMPOSSIBLE to attract a large number of people to VISIT here if we set our mind on it. Houston is changing faster than anyone can keep up. I wouldn’t believe anyone’s predictions for Houston. We do things our own way. We make the rules up, and break them as we go along.

  • Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo will not allow/tolerate anything that competes with them. That would include: food sales, clothing, entertainment, mementos, or anything that tourists would spend money on.

  • Tourism begats low wage jobs and inconvenience for local residents and businesses. It should be avoided like the plague that it is.

  • A dessert wasteland sounds delicious. We’d probably get more tourists if they Houston was known its the caramel desolation and chocolate swamp.

    Come to think of it, isn’t there a Chocolate Bayou? Say, we’re already on our way to bring a dessert wasteland!

  • Sorry, “known for its caramel wasteland.” This is what I get for composing and trying to edit a comment by phone.

  • I don’t usually agree with Old School about very nearly everything. But on this one, he nailed it. Tourism is not the panacea of a city’s existence. Some cities play to tourism because they’ve got comparative advantage and nothing better going for them, and that’s fine. But if you’re an economically vibrant city that’s all-grown-up, then the goal should be that it is a nice place to live…and it seems to me that that goal is diametrically opposed to an attempt at bringing more tourists to town.

  • BITCH: We do not want all those Snow Birds here. They cause lots of traffic, they are old and cut in front of you and think they own Florida. Please go on Presidents week. That was the last time I will ever go to Florida. Other then them Florida just has white trash. Houston the fastest growing city in the country. We do not need Walt Disney World. Keep you your swam land.