HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The city of Harlingen said business is picking up and business owners said they are eager to start serving their community.
“We are just trying to bring everything to Harlingen and keep everyone at home,” said Matthew Abundiz, restaurant manager at the new brunch spot called the Pour Station.
City of Harlingen Finance Director Robert Rodriguez said more businesses are opening and more people are visiting the city.
Rodriguez said it is noticeable in the hotel occupancy tax.
“For instance, in May we were at a 57.8% hotel occupancy, in June we were at a 64.7%, and in July we were at a 74.6%,” said Rodriguez.
Though the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) decreased slightly in August, Rodriguez said it was due to school starting again, but said the HOT did well during the pandemic.
“We did experience good numbers in the prior year as well. We had a lot of traveling nurses in the prior year during the pandemic,” said Rodriguez.
Adding to the growth, Rodriguez said the sales tax is also up 16% and says other contributing factors to the economy’s growth are the growing medical centers and the city’s airport.
The city’s newest brunch spot, the Pour Station, said they are a local, family-owned business that wanted to bring something new to the city.
“We try our best to give you a new environment, just a separation, this is probably the only place that you can dine, eat while you watch a train pass by,” said Abundiz.
Other spots have yet to open but are already setting up shop for business, like the city’s first food truck park.
“The Moonrock is going to be Harlingen’s first food truck park and bar,” said Christian Zanca, the business’s owner.
Adding to that list is the area’s first dine-in winery called The 83 Winery, which is also owned and operated by a native Harlingen family.
“We found, just down the street from our house, this beautiful property and so when we purchased it we thought what can we do here that is new and exciting that hasn’t been done yet?,” said Ashely David, co-owner of The 83 Winery.
These locally-owned businesses have one motto, “Bring something new to Harlingen for Harlingen”.
“I’m from Harlingen, born and raised. My family is from Harlingen, and we’re missing this. We don’t have anything like this, so I want to stop the money leaving Harlingen and bring it all back here,” said Zanca.