The Downtown Austin Alliance announced on Tuesday a new economic recovery plan for downtown amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"As an organization with a sole purpose of enhancing the vitality and value of downtown, combined with the experience and leadership we have had in many of Austin's well-known design initiatives, projects and strategic plans and visions, the Downtown Austin Alliance is uniquely qualified to lead the way for downtown Austin's renaissance," CEO Dewitt Peart said in a statement.
"Roadmap to Recovery" will run through the spring of 2021 and consists of four phases: discovery, visioning, mapping and action.
The Downtown Austin Alliance's "Roadmap to Recovery" consists of four phases.(Downtown Austin Alliance)
Between now and early 2021, the discovery phase will include focus groups, interviews, workshops and surveys to determine how the pandemic has impacted Austinites.
Based on the findings, the visioning phase will develop key indicators by which to measure success, according to the specific economic sectors that drive downtown, such as the hotel, restaurant and bar, and music industries.
The mapping phase will focus on positioning downtown for a quick recovery, and the action phase will focus on implementing, monitoring and adapting the roadmap to ensure it is successful in attracting visitors and businesses to the city.
"Our goal is to help businesses recover and facilitate engagement with downtown by employees, residents, visitors and creatives," Peart said.
The alliance has been involved in other recovery efforts since the pandemic began, including increasing cleaning protocols downtown and creating an economic impact index.
The Downtown Austin Alliance has been involved in measuring the economic impact of the pandemic on downtown businesses. (Downtown Austin Alliance)
It has also advocated for relief locally, regionally and nationally, and its leadership has served on the Opening Central Texas Task Force.
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- San Marcos favorite Industry Burger opens "mid-October" on E. 5th, featuring "low key healthy" Texas fare.
- Still Austin Whiskey Co. introduces "The Artist," its new rye whiskey.
- Domain NORTHSIDE favorites Bakery Lorraine, Grimaldi's Pizzeria, Jeni's Ice Cream and Sprinkles released their fall flavors.
- Cinnaholic at The Arboretum opens Friday, October 14, serving "create your own" cinnamon rolls and other sweet treats.
- San Francisco's Marufuku Ramen opens next Wednesday, October 12, in the Mueller District.
- Carpenter Hotel announces its popup food truck, Lil Carpenter, open Fri-Sun both ACL weekends, serving what you want, early to late, coffee to donuts, to dogs/burgers/fries/beer.
With major entertainment events slated for October, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is gearing up for a busy month.
Artists and music lovers are set to pack into Zilker Park for The Austin City Limits Music Festival in the coming two weekends. Following that, Formula One will bring racing fans to the Circuit of the Americas.
For those two events, the airport is anticipating high passenger days with 30,000 or more people departing flights.
ABIA recommends arriving at least two and a half hours in advance for domestic flights on those days. For ACL, it's expected on both Sundays of the festival along with the Monday and Tuesday after. The F1-driven high passenger days are expected on Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 23-26.
\u201c#AustinCityLimits visitors, you\u2019re in for a weird and wild ride \ud83e\udd18\u262e\ufe0f \n\nFlying in or out of our airport? We got firm and fun tips for you: https://t.co/RawVRalOXN\u201d— Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) (@Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)) 1664894083
F1, especially, could draw in loads of travelers as the three-day event saw 400,000 attendees last year. ABIA warns that highways leading to the airport may see even higher traffic than usual around the event and that travelers should plan their route accordingly.
Bailey Grimmett, a spokesperson for ABIA, said travel numbers come in 24 hours in advance. So, it's hard to predict if the airport will see travel volumes at the same levels that have happened around previous F1 races or if it'll top ACL's flight traffic.
Still, she says historical knowledge points to a chance for it.
“We've had that Monday after F1 break the record for single busiest in airport history," Grimmett said. "So context clues I would say yes, but I can't confirm that. But the historical background points to that."
In anticipation of the high volume of flyers, the airport received additional TSA officers for security screening through the end of October. To prepare even further, the Department of Aviation and partners hosted a job showcase and hiring fair to address the continued labor shortage the airport has experienced.
Relief from hectic travel days is on the horizon with November likely to see a slowdown.
"I don't anticipate it will be as busy as October just because we don't have as many events going on," Grimmett said. "Thanksgiving is kind of our primary holiday that we see a lot of passengers coming in and out of the airport."