EL PASO, Texas -- For what would have been the fourth year in a row, city officials were looking forward to showcasing the Sun City at South by Southwest but that came to an abrupt halt after the city of Austin decided to pull the plug on the festival due to coronavirus concerns.
Destination El Paso along with notable El Pasoans like Mayor Dee Margo, representatives from UTEP and Microsoft were preparing to travel to Austin for the two week festival that attracts tens of thousands of people each year.
Destination El Paso spent more than $73,000 -- almost $64,000 on the booth they would have had at SXSW's trade show expo, more than $8,000 on travel expenses, and $1,500 on other expenses. Funding comes from the city and $15,000 from sponsors.
Bryan Crowe, general manager of Destination El Paso, said the festival gives them a chance to showcase the Sun City in many ways.
“We get about 600 leads coming back from the expo, from wanting more information about the community, to specific engagement about specific partners, or economic development entities,” Crowe said.
Opportunities like these are leaving Destination El Paso a bit disappointed to not be able to advertise the exciting changes coming to El Paso to people from all over the world.
“They're looking for the next new thing," Crowe said. "Everything from venture capitalists investors to students and folks that are working in business and all kinds of different walks of life. It's a great opportunity for us to show case our community."
The City of Austin has since announced all events of more than 2,500 people will now be prohibited until May 1 in light of last Friday's local disaster declaration.