Today Mayor Jason Bienski and Mayor Pro Tem Dave Ruesink competed head-to-head in the annual Tourism Savings Showdown hosted by the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau at the new Bryan HEB.
According to the State of Texas, every year tourism generates $7.6 billion in local, state, and federal tax receipts, which is equivalent to about $800 in tax revenue for each Texas household.
To demonstrate how much each household saves on their taxes because of tourism to the community, the two city officials raced through HEB filling up their carts with what they believe to be $800 worth of groceries. Each competitor had ten minutes to fill their shopping carts and cross the finish line. Whoever got the closest to the targeted goal without going over won.
"Last year, the event was very successful and everyone had so much fun that we had to bring it back," Shannon Overby, CVB Executive Director, said. "It's a great way for the two cities to engage in a little friendly competition that educates the community about the benefits of tourism."
Since the event ended up being such a team effort, with Mayor Bienski barely winning with about $500 worth of groceries, this year Overby decided to purchase all of the groceries to donate to the Brazos Valley Food Bank.
"The real winner in this is the Brazos Valley Food Bank, who we were happy to help out." Mayor Bienski said.
This event is part of a campaign that destination marketing organizations from all over the nation participate in during the month of May. During this time localized events are presented in cities, states, and travel businesses nationwide to champion the power of travel.