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San Marcos Merchants Compete For Student Dollars

Updated: Monday, August 25 2014, 09:18 PM CDT

Wrap your head around this number: $200 million.  That's the amount students at Texas State University spend each year in Hays County.  And that doesn't include the staff and faculty at Texas State who earn another $200 million working at the school.

Even before class begins, the city of San Marcos reaps the benefits of students arriving to attend Texas State University.  Robert Watts, Executive VP for the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce explains, "Their parents coming making sure they're acclimated to town.  They stay in our hotels.  They visit our restaurants and our businesses."  But Samantha Armbruster, Main Street Program Manager notices, "In the last couple of years… when the new students come to town they're not sure what to do and very often we saw them leaving San Marcos for entertainment in their first weeks and months."

That's why San Marcos downtown merchants are targeting Texas State students with a campaign to get students to shop downtown.  The downtown stores are trying harder to stay in tune with students, giving them an edge over the outlet stores down the road.  Whitney Connell, Manager of Hays County Outfitters says, "We always have what is in season where outlet malls will have stuff from last year or a couple of years ago."

The outlet stores are also hoping to entice students.  They're offering free shopping shuttles to their stores on Saturdays.  There's no doubt about it.  The "store wars" has begun.

By Fred Cantu

 

San Marcos Merchants Compete For Student Dollars


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