Pharr business seeing economic boost from WAC championship

By: Bella Michaels

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The Pharr Natatorium is hosting the Western Athletic Conference swimming and diving tournament for the second year in a row.

Local hotels — such as the La Quinta Inn near the natatorium — say they’re seeing a spike in business.

“It's honestly brought a really good impact to us, business wise and community wise,” La Quinta Inn General Manager Marco Escobedo said.

Escobedo says they're close to reaching capacity at their hotel from all the athletes traveling from out of the state to compete.

Pharr has seen a $42,000 increase in hotel reservations from February 2023 to February 2024 across all 18 hotels throughout the city.

“We're hosting over 6,000 people that are coming in from all over the nation,” Greater Pharr Chamber of Commerce CEO and President C.J. Sanchez said. “That makes a huge impact to eat at our restaurants, stay at our hotels, pump gas here…. [It’s] a positive impact for the city and the sales tax that it generates."

The 2023 WAC conference generated a 1.6% increase in the city's sales tax.

“Anytime you host these events, there's definitely an economic impact to the city,” Pharr city Manager Jonathon Flores said. “It's great for the city to also be able to highlight the amenities we have here.”

The tournament concludes on Sunday, March 3, 2024.

Watch the video above for the full story. 


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