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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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February 3, 2010     Hays Free Press
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February 3, 2010
 

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HaysFreePress.com CLASSIFIEDS * PUBLIC NOTICES SERVICE DIRECTORY Burrow b o0sting Buda Tourism director invite I everyone downtown , BY JEN BIUNDO jen@haysfreepress.com Buda's newly appointed tourism director, Alisha I PHOTO BY JEN BIUNDO Mrrow, will work to promote the city to tourists and locals alike. "My position is prin00arily, first and foremost, working wI'th the down,town area, not only addressing their ,!eeds zking sure zve're vitalizing it. The ie heart of Buda." ,lisha Burrow, Buda Director of Tourism : and concerns, but m, preserving it and re, downtown area is t/, But it's not just out-of-towners that restaurants of downto BhdaMny residents of the burgeg cout: : er subdivisions on the tge of::towl  : spend little time or mo  m!bM! downtown. : ':   :: ": Increasing foot traffic could help en- courage new business and restaurants to set up shop in Buda, and also create a financial incentive for shop-owners to keep longer hours, Burrow said. Burrow is working with the Buda Downtown Merchants group to help promote Buda's First Thursdays, simi- lar to the monthly event by the same name on South Congress Ave. in Aus- tin, in which shops and restaurants keep their doors open well into the the city could better market itself for y sports tournaments, tt All those events would put more "heads in beds," the industry term w for drawing visitors to the area, and oI hopefully increase foot traffic for local th u opportunity?" Burro at Buda has the potentd Unlike destination tou rich your city is the tart ,portunity tourism is m rough, Burrow said. Lo, said, noting i al to do both. i ism, in :et location, ostly pass- :ated on IH- evening to draw out a bustling crowd. In the long-term, the city hopes to undertake a branding campaign to coalesce the city's image. "Branding is a pretty complex thing," Burrow said. "It's not so much a shop-owners and establish Buda as a 3 destination in its own right. B "When you think about tourism, re you think, are you a destination or are ot between Austin and Sin Antonio, tda is well poised to capture tourism enue from motorists e route to her cities. cohesive look, it's not a slogan, it's not a tagline. At the end of the day, it's a promise. What are we promising them that they will find in Buda?" a.m s the newly appointed tour- director to the city of Buda, sha Burrow is trying to entice out-of-towners to visit a community- that's mare readily described as quaint rather than urbane. She's pushing small-town tourism, but Burrow prac: rices what she preaches. "I've been to all the nooks and cran- nies of the state of Texas," Burrow said. "I like to take the back roads when I travel. It really is interesting when you go to the smaller communities - they have that unique Texas flavor." Burrow comes to the city with a background in tourism and special events. A native of Brownsville, Bur- row, 25, earned degrees in English and Business with a minor in Art from Hendrix College in Conway, AK, followed by a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Most recently, Burrow worked in Dallas for the American Red Cross, promoting the organization and doing event planning. In the 2009-10 fiscal year budget, the city of Buda made the somewhat controversial move to bring its tour- ism services in-house, pulling the contract that had been held for years by the Chamber of Commerce and creating the new position of tourism director. Funded through the hotel- motel tax collected from overnight stays by area visitors, Burrow's new job is to promote Buda to locals and visitors alike. "My position is primarily, first and foremost, working with the downtown area, not only addressing their needs and concerns, but making sure we're preserving it and revitalizing it," Bur- row said. "The downtown area is the heart ofBuda," With the boundaries of a small advertising budget, Burrow will also manage a new tourism website and work on advertising to promote the city as a leisure destination and a good place to do business. Buda might not have the big draws of cities like Austin or San Antonio, the outlet malls of San Marcos, or even the large and well-preserved historic downtowns of Fredericksburg or Gru- ene. But Burrow said the city can still attract visitors on its own merit. "There's that misconception that you have to have museums and a fun park to be a destination," Burrow said. Buda has plenty to pull in visi- tors, Burrow said, such as a unique downtown area. Festivals such as the wiener dog races routinely fill the area hotels, while weddings are a frequent draw at events venues such as the San Michele. But Buda could also be better pro- moted as a venue for events like family reunions, Burrow said. With three new hotels promoting plenty of meeting space, small business conferences could be recruited to the area. And with the new Buda Sportsplex Park, Demand for apartmpnts s up in Buda BY JEN BIUNDO ing 18 units for households jen@haysfreepress.com with special needs or disabili- ties. "This project secures lower- cost housing for those who truly need it," said Michael Gerber, Executive Director of Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The owner and developer, Mark Musemeche of MGroup Holdings, Inc. of Houston, applied for and received $1.3 million annually in tax credits through the efforts and ap- proval of TDHCA. Additional financial part- ners include Boston Financial and Wachovia Bank. Amenities at Tuscany Park include a resort-style swim- ming pool, fitness center, business center, community event center with coffee bar and game room, outdoor grilling area, and childrens' playscape. Monthly rental rates for units designated as affordable are determined on a sliding scale depending on income and family size. Rents start at $699 for a one-bedroom unit and go up to $978 for three- bedroom units. Local officials helpe Buda apartment corr plex. MGroup Holdi:gs, Inc. of i slated t Houston is also teveloping month The Huntington, a 120-uni}:il, velopm apartment complexthatwfl! '!i :But n, provide housingl to senioL al, dew citizens. The Huntington is! vi{dng i COURTESY PHOTO cut the ribbon on Tuscany Park, a new ) break ground this in the Sunfield de- mt east of Bflda. )t all proposed rent- lopments ae sur- ;roadstone at Buda, i " i a 364-unit complex pro- posed for development on 19 acres near Cabela's, has been pulled off the table by developers Alliance Com- munities. Last Tuesday, city and state officials helped cut the rib- bon on Tuscany Park, Buda's newest apartment complex, located just east of IH-35 on Overpass Road in the Sunfield development. Until last year, Buda and Kyle had just one apartment complex between them. But a flurry of new construction has put nearly 1,500 apartment units in the pipeline in six dif- ferent complexes. Demand for affordable apartments is high, local real- tors say. So far, 55 percent of the 176 units at Tuscany Park already are occupied and the remaining 65 percent are pre- leased. Ninety-seven percent Of the development's 176 units are reserved for households mak- ing no more than 60 percent of the areas median family income. Under this formula, a family of four making a to- tal gross household income of $43,980 or less per year would qualify. The complex is reserv- February 3, 2010 * Page 1D Market days and more... KYLE PAR& ur Kyle Parks and Recre- tion Department has a calendar of events for February. We have something for everyone regardless of age, interest or lifestyle. Pick a few dates and join us. With Market Days moving back to City Square Park under the shady oak trees, its time to get your vendor booth space for the entire year. First Saturdays, April through November, crafts, produce and music will be downtown. FEBRUARY 6 iHoops Skills Challenge will take place at Wallace Middle School with registration begin- ning at 9 a.m. Open to boys and girls ages 9-14, basketball skills will be challenged in ball handling, defense, passing and shooting. No charge to partici- pate. FEBRUARY 16 Kyle Fair vendor booths go on sale to the public. The Fair is scheduled for October 14- 17 this year and booth spaces always sell out in September. Get your space now before they are gone. FEBRUARY 17 Adult Kickball League Spring Season begins with team reg- istration deadline and coaches meeting at 6:30 p.m. Get your team together for this excit- ing program as games begin in March. FEBRUARY 27 The 7  Annual Creek Clean Up project at Steeplechase Park begins at 9 a.m. and concludes with pizza lunch at noon. Join other citizens and clean up Plum Creek that runs through Steeplechase Park and the area around the new Lake Kyle and Plum Creek Preserve & Nature Trail. Students, civic organiza- tions and volunteers are needed to haul out thousands of pounds of trash and debris from the watershed which improves the water quality of our city's waterway. Sponsors are also needed for event t-shirts, food, drinks and supplies. Partners include Plum CreekWatershed Partners, GBRA, Texas A&M Agri-Life and Keep Texas Beauti: ful. In 2009 over 400 volunteers cleaned the creek. Our goal this year is 450. For additional details and information on any of these events and activities, caU your Kyle PARD at 262-3939 or www. kylepard.com. Alive After Five STAFF REPORTS Downtown Buda will come 'klive After Five" this Thttrsday; Feb. 4 as part of the city's First Thursday event. Shops and restaurants that typ- icaUy close at 5 l:/.m, will keep their lights on and their doors open late into the evening. With Valentine's Day approach- ing, love is in the air. At Nonna Gi- na's Italian Restaurant, visitors will receive a free chocolate-dipped strawberry and a special price on sparkling wine. Buda Grocery and Grill will offer a special menu and wine tasting, while Buda Soda Fountain 11 serve up Sweetheart Milkshakes. Other participating merchants include Buda's Red Door, Cimar- ron Rose Antiques, Old Main Street Station, Raby's Roots, Salon One 12, Sue Ellen's Florist, The Looking Glass and Trendy Tay Boutique. The event is organized by the Buda Downtown Merchant For more information, contact the dty's tourism department at 312-0084.