SAN ANTONIO - We now have a glimpse at how much money could be at stake for the San Antonio area if Texas lawmakers pass the so-called “bathroom bill.” The estimate comes from a study commissioned by Visit San Antonio and the San Antonio Area Tourism Council.
The study was released Monday and was conducted by The Perryman Group and states that the San Antonio/New Braunfels metro area could take a hit of $411.8 million annually. It could also come with the elimination of 4,650 jobs.
Statewide, the economic loss could be as high as $3.3 billion each year.
If passed, the bill would require people to use the bathroom or locker room that coincides with their birth certificate when in public buildings. Badiola was not happy when hearing about a new study showing a big potential economic loss for San Antonio if the legislation passes.
Opponents of the bill claim it not only discriminates against the transgender community, but is bad for business.
“I think these are big numbers and I think you cannot deny when it’s going to strongly impact the third-largest industry of San Antonio. We need to care about that,” said Casandra Matej, the president and CEO of Visit San Antonio, who added that about a dozen conventions are already threatening to pull out of San Antonio if the legislation passes. “You’re talking about 75 to 80 percent of our cliental are, it’s either conventions or tourists."
Senate Bill 6 passed the senate but faces an uphill battle in the house. There’s also a variation of the bill being introduced in the house. That legislation also has city officials concerned, which is why Matej and others from San Antonio will be headed to Austin this week to keep an eye on that bill as well.
It’s important to note that the study did not include the Final Four. Matej said that the NCAA has yet to say if it’s too late to pull the Final Four out of San Antonio in 2018. However, she did say that the city will start bidding for future Final Four events in about a year, and the bathroom bill could affect future bids.
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