Texas Reds Steak and Grape Festival have been a popular Bryan event over the years. The city’s new marketing organization, Destination Bryan, has been evaluating events that bring in outside commerce to local businesses. After some deliberation, Destination Bryan staff decided that Texas Reds ought to be discontinued. Speaking before a Bryan city council meeting on Tuesday, they voiced several reasons Reds might not be the best focus of time and resources.
"We have Messina Hof here in town, which is the top awarded winery in the state," said John Friebele, executive director for Destination Bryan, as he addressed the city council. "It's also my understanding that [Messina Hof] has the top volume in sales in the state of Texas. So bringing other wineries into Bryan and promoting them instead of the one true attraction that we have, was a concern.”
Friebele noted that when the Downtown Bryan Association was in charge of planning the event, it took as much as 1,400 hours of staff commitment just to organize Texas Reds each year. Abigail Noel, communications manager with Destination Bryan and former Downtown Bryan Association member, said that when she was tasked with helping to plan Texas Reds, the project took months of her working days.
"Anecdotally what we have in the hotel years – [hotels] that might have had room blocks [designated] for Texas Reds, they just said that a lot of those rooms were not picked up," she said. "I think vendors might have been the majority of who stayed in hotels.”
Destination Bryan organizers suggest that instead of planning Texas Reds this summer, they focus their efforts on creating numerous smaller events throughout the year, bringing focus to various sections of Bryan city limits, and benefiting local businesses.
"This could possibly be a wonderful thing to do with [Texas] A&M in the future," commented Bryan mayor Andrew Nelson at the city council meeting. "Maybe we explore that with them and engage them, and have an annual wine conference were tasting wine and doing the other things we love about Reds is a part of that.”
The city is still exploring a multitude of ideas for new events.
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