SAN ANTONIO — Look anywhere downtown San Antonio this weekend, and it’s packed.
From spring breakers and now those in town for the NCAA Women’s Division 1 Basketball Tournament – the entirety of which is taking place in the Alamo City and some outlying communities – foot traffic is up at businesses across the city.
Linda Brantley, manager of the Alamo Antique Mall, says the doors were closed this time last year, due to the pandemic.
But with the vaccine rollout and restrictions lifted, she’s noticing more people out and about.
“We’ve come over a lot of hurdles throughout the year and it’s really hurt us bad," she said. "But to see everything gradually coming back, (it) really looks good and great to see San Antonio coming to life again."
While the mask mandate and other statewide restrictions have lifted, Brantley is ensuring her customers follow the rules by masking up. She doesn’t fear losing significant business by those who refuse to wear face coverings.
“It is far few and between, so it hasn’t really hurt, but there are a few who are still determined not to wear masks,” Brantley said.
Tourism from the NCAA tourney alone is expected to rake in more than $25 million for the San Antonio economy, according to the local organizing committee.
Brantley calls the sudden surge in business over these past couple weeks welcoming news, although she's well aware it comes with risks.
“It’s good to see people out and getting comfortable again, but then again, we don’t know with everyone getting vaccinated and it takes two to three weeks for COVID to metastasize," she said. "So we don’t know what’s going to happen in two to three weeks. Hopefully nothing."