BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — People are packing up and heading to Texas.
U-Haul says the Lone Star State ranks first in the nation for one-way rentals, with Bryan-College Station making the nation's top 10 destinations.
Indeed, people are moving to Texas just like the Martinez's.
"My husband and I moved to Bryan-College Station in June of last year from Southern California,” said Marilyn Martinez, new College Station resident.
Over two million people loaded up for Texas, according to U-Haul's annual growth index.
The data shows Americans are leaving for southern states during COVID - with Texas, Florida and Tennessee taking the top three spots.
Meanwhile, California remained at the top for outgoing migration.
”They told us that everything was going out and nothing was coming back to Southern California and that it was just very difficult to rent one one-way coming from California to Texas,” said Martinez.
The Bryan-College Station area ranked 7th for Top 10 U.S cities for one-way trips.
U-Hauls study points to Texas A&M's expansion with more student enrollment and more job opportunities.
“U-Haul lot down the street from my house has literally been full since I got here and the trailers just sit there," said Martinez.
"They don’t ever leave, so they come here and they don’t ever go back,”
College Station officials say the local economy has grown roughly three percent each year.
And they expect that to stay the same in 2022.
”So when you look at some of the revenue streams in terms of retail sales and hotel occupancy, those are two areas that are good economic indicators for our community as a whole,” said Natalie Ruiz, College Station director of economic development and tourism.
The city says big companies are taking notice as well.
Just last month, FUJIFILM Diosynth announced a three-million-dollar expansion.
“And in addition to that there will be another one hundred and fifty high paying jobs around the 80 thousand dollars a year marks," said Ruiz.
"So it’s really critical as a community to be able to have those high paying jobs for folks for your community to continue to grow,”
And as the local population grows so are the number of tourists.
According to visit college station, hotel occupancy levels are back to pre-pandemic numbers.