Updated 08/23/2012 07:00 AM
City officials, business owners eager to capitalize on F1
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The City of Austin is getting ready to reap the long-term benefits of Formula One.
On Thursday, the city council is expected to set public hearings to annex nearly 1,600 acres of Southeast Travis County—an area that includes the Circuit of the Americas track.
Most of the property is currently owned by the state.
"We decided it would be in everyone's best interest to wait a year and have them deal with just one entity—Travis County—rather than having to deal with the county and the city as far as getting permits," Jeremy Rusthoven with Austin’s Planning and Development Review said.
Analysis by the city shows Circuit of the Americas will generate $16.2 million in property taxes over the next 25 years.
"The net present value of that property to the city over the next 25 years will be $16.2 million positive," Rusthoven said.
But city officials aren’t the only ones with dollar signs in their eyes.
On Thursday, business owners were invited to Austin’s City Council Chambers to hear from city officials as well as those involved with the track to best capitalize on what is shaping up to be a big boon for local business.
"That week has historically been a quiet and off week in Austin," Fred Schmidt, owner of boutique music shop Wild About Music, said.
Schmidt said he's studied past Grand Prix crowds and calculated 85 percent of the expected 300,000 visitors to be from the United States.
He says many will want a truly Austin experience.
"They just like things that are unique and different from what you find everywhere else in the world or everywhere else in the country, for that matter,” Schmidt said. “Austin has that."
Business owners can attend a seminar focused on Formula One crowds again next week. It will be Aug. 28 from 8:00 until 9:30 a.m.