WEST TEXAS

West Texas Tourism Spots Seeing a Spike in COVID-19 Cases

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Wide open space is one of the reasons why Andrew Rubalcaba of McKinney and his wife decided to vacation in West Texas just before Thanksgiving.

"We figured it would be desolate and just be the two of us,” Rubalcaba said. “Social distance, no one around for miles, so we decided to go out to the Big Bend area."

Andrew Rubalcaba of McKinney, Texas hiking in West Texas.

Tourism dollars helps support the economy in those small rural areas.

"Tourism is extremely important to my business," Communitie Marfa clothing shop owner Kate Calder said.

Her shop is located on one of the main streets through Marfa, Texas.

Communitie Marfa clothing shop in Marfa, Texas

“A lot of people love to buy some crystals and take them home as their souvenir from Marfa," Calder said.

She knows just how important those tourists dollars are.

"Those visitors that shop our shops, and eat at the restaurants and have a cocktail at the beautiful bars and little lounges we have here are truly why we all exist," Calder said.

But now those tourism destinations are becoming COVID-19 hot spots. It's causing some people to urge tourists to stay away.

"There is definitely some push back right now for travel in the area,” Calder said. “I've had some pretty serious conversations with guests in my shop that aren't aware of the local constraints of healthcare."

Rubalcaba wasn't aware numbers were so high in West Texas. Even though they were mainly secluded, he said he would have done things different.

"Had we known we probably wouldn't have gone and we would have respected the locals around the area," Rubalcaba said.

So until numbers go down Calder suggests people still visit and support their area safely online.

"If you do have shops and businesses that you love in Marfa go online, find them on Instagram, find their website, buy some gifts that they'll ship for you. I know I ship almost every day here."

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