Waco, Texas. What is the first thing you would have associated with it a few years ago, before Fixer Upper and Chip and Joanna Gaines became the cultural phenomena they have?
I would have thought hot, dusty town and wasn’t there a religious conflict there years ago? I certainly wouldn’t have thought design mecca or cool place to go.
[Waco was the site of a siege of a compound belonging to the religious group, Branch Davidians, by American federal and Texas state law enforcement and US military in 1993. Thank you, Wikipedia]
But since the show started airing, Waco’s image has improved dramatically.
The show draws thousands of visitors to Waco see the houses the Gaineses have redone and shop in their Magnolia Market complex. An estimated 15,000 shoppers visit the store each week.
With the popularity of the market, other businesses have opened downtown and residents have moved in above the shops.
Local hotels have reported an uptick in visitors from both coasts and the Midwest.
With the good comes some bad. Traffic and parking around Magnolia Market are now an issue and have necessitated traffic studies.
In more extreme cases viewers are buying houses and moving to Waco. Some to be part of the show, others because they can get more house for their money.
The town has been rebranded and now when someone mentions Waco, Texas, Fixer Upper and Chip and Joanna are what come to mind along with affordable housing and a pleasant town vibe.
What do you think? Would you visit Waco since watching Fixer Upper? Would you move there?