Wildfires destroyed more than 1 million trees, 1,600 homes and set back 48 businesses in Bastrop and the surrounding Central Texas area. Amidst the vast devastation and tragedy in this Austin Metro community, Bastrop economic development officials recognized the need to quickly mobilize to help meet the needs of residents and business owners rebuild their lives.
While the Bastrop area was already growing, the wildfires intensified the need for more housing and brought greater attention to the lack of certain types of businesses in the area. The Bastrop Economic Development Corp. hired The Retail Coach to complete a Retail Trade Area Determination, Retail Gap/Opportunity Analysis, Demographics and Psychographics Analysis, and Retail and Restaurant Feasibility Study.
The Retail Coach found that Bastrop is losing $918.7 million in sales annually to other communities because it lacks the retail base within its community to meet demand. The retail segments with the biggest leaks included restaurants, grocery stores, home furniture and furnishings, gasoline stations and car dealers.
Although Bastrop has a population of 7,200, The Retail Coach identified a Retail Trade Area of 160,000 with residents from 20 neighboring communities willing to come to Bastrop for shopping, dining and entertainment. This information is now being used to develop new retail and recruitment strategies that are focused on the Highway 71 corridor and Bastrop’s Historic Downtown.
“We are committed to strengthening our local economy by helping Bastrop retailers respond to this demand and preventing vital sales tax dollars from leaving our community,” said Dave Quinn, executive director of the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation.
“Local businesses can use our information to improve their marketing practices and expand product lines,” said Aaron Farmer, Vice President of The Retail Coach. “The data also revealed new opportunities for local entrepreneurs and can be used by the Bastrop EDC to recruit new retailers and restaurants to the community.”
Dubbed the Most Historic Small Town in Texas, Bastrop has 130 historic sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In 2007, Bastrop became an official Texas Main Street City, which has spurred more than $5 million in reinvestment in the historic business district.
“Bastrop has the information, tools and vision to overcome this crisis and become better and stronger than before,” said Quinn.