Twice a year, for a long weekend, the Victoria Regional Airport is transformed into a festival ground.
“We literally, in a day and a half, take an airport and turn it into a little city,” said Texas Mile co-owner Shannon Matus. “There’s a lot of things you have to bring out in order to be able to do that.”
During those transformation phases, Matus said, comes a lot of investment in local businesses.
At a recent Victoria Partnership meeting, Matus talked about the economic impact the Texas Mile has had in Victoria during the two years since it moved to Victoria.
According to the presentation, the motorsports festival has brought an additional $3 million to Victoria’s economy between the five events hosted since March 2017.
In the Texas Mile, drivers compete against themselves to see how fast their cars, trucks and motorcycles will go in one mile.
About $350,000 of that is money spent by the Texas Mile on marketing, rent, monthly services and maintenance, an ambulance service and local food and vendors.
Outside the money spent by event-runners, Matus said the more than 220 participants who partake in the event spend money on food, hotels and other area businesses. Not to mention, Matus said, the thousands of spectators who come from near and far.
One business benefitting from the Texas Mile’s presence in Victoria is Compadres Design.
The local graphic design company on East Red River Street began working with the company this year and has taken over production of much of the event’s merchandising.
Each year, the Teas Mile spends about $30,000 on merchandising, marketing material and staff uniforms.
”I want to say the biggest order that we’ve ever produced single-handed was actually for VISD. It was about 6,000 pieces,” said Garrett Hoffman, who works for Compadres. “I want to say (the Texas Mile order) was about 1,800 pieces altogether, and that was put off across multiple designs.”
The Texas Mile moved to Victoria in 2017 from Beeville.
It is the sister company to J&S Matus Motorsports Inc., which created the world-renowned event.
Owners Jay and Shannon Matus were born and raised in the Houston area. Director of Operations Ashley Flores has been part of the team for more than 14 years and handles the day-to-day operations of the Texas Mile.
Since moving the event permanently from Beeville to Victoria, the company has rented a warehouse in Victoria.
Shannon Matus said the purpose of the presentation was to let the Victoria community know about the Texas Mile’s commitment to Victoria and about the company’s intention to grow.
”Today we have well over 220 participants and 70 staff members,” Matus said. “We’re looking to grow the event by adding additional auxiliary events within the event.”