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The Granite Shoals City Council is considering hosting the 2024 Texas Bass Nation Youth State Championships next summer but has concerns over the city’s lack of accommodations. It would cost about $35,000 to bring the event to the city, but because Granite Shoals has few restaurants and no hotels, the influx of visitors would mostly benefit Marble Falls and Kingsland.

“I would love to support this program, I think it’s phenomenal; however, I haven’t noticed any hotels or motels in Granite Shoals,” said resident Peter Hutnick during the meeting. “I don’t think the city should be spending any money to get this tournament into Granite Shoals because I don’t think that, other than a few B&Bs, there is any revenue potential for Granite Shoals.”

The city has 65 registered short-term rental properties, which includes Airbnbs and VRBOs, City Manager Peggy Smith said. During the spring, the city collects an average of $30,000 a month in hotel occupancy taxes from those rental properties. The money can only be spent to bring more tourists to the area, which would include sponsoring the bass tournament.

The event could bring hundreds of thousands of dollars to the city based on data collected from past tournaments, said TBN Youth Director Nathan Byerly and former city councilor Bruce Jones at a presentation to the Granite Shoals council on July 11. 

“This is a great economic development-type deal,” Jones said. “Maybe this will show everybody that we need a sewer system and that we need hotels. This (tournament) could help drive those in my opinion.”

Granite Shoals has no hotels or motels and very few restaurants due to the lack of a municipal sewer system, which would be necessary to handle commercial amounts of wastewater. Without accommodations, visitors wouldn’t be spending their dollars in Granite Shoals. 

“Somebody told me when I first walked in (to the meeting) that, if you do this (tournament), all of the money is going to go to Marble Falls, and that’s the challenge for us,” Jones said.

Jones met Byerly at a fishing expo in Dallas, where they talked about bringing the tournament to Granite Shoals. 

Byerly made his pitch to the City Council over Zoom. According to his research, towns that have hosted tournaments earned about $200,000 for every 50 teams participating. The numbers are based on the families of youth participants staying at local hotels or bed-and-breakfast inns for three to seven days, eating all of their meals in town, and doing all of their shopping nearby. The 2024 state tournament is expected to have 75-100 boats.

“This tournament is a qualifier to the Bass Master National Championship for juniors and high school,” Byerly explained. “These kids will be competing against 15,000 to 16,000 anglers to represent Texas at the 2024 national championship.”

Councilor Steve Hougen had another idea for getting the money to host the tournament.

“I think the city might be able to help raise money with sponsors,” he said.

Hougen regularly participates in bass tournaments, noting that large companies like ACE Hardware, Walmart, and Bass Pro Shop might be willing to sponsor the event. 

Jones added that that his company, Lake Homes Realty, and other local businesses also could be sponsors.

The council didn’t make a decision on whether to host the tournament but will discuss the matter at a future date yet to be determined.