City of College Station – Visit College Station, the newly created city tourism division for the Heart of Texas A&M University, on Thursday announced a strategic partnership with Santa’s Wonderland – the largest outdoor Christmas attraction in the southern United States.
Santa’s Wonderland hosts more than 300,000 visitors annually from across the nation and is poised to welcome even more travelers, thanks to an exciting expansion to the already unrivaled holiday destination. New for 2020 is Illuminations Ice Arena, the region’s premiere outdoor ice skating venue. Guests will glide on a sheet of real ice while surrounded by thousands of holiday lights under the Texas stars. Other new attractions for 2020 are Santa’s Farm and a second Trail of Lights – vast, walkable elements with family-friendly adventures along the way, including hand-crafted Texas light displays, tunnels and even a live nativity scene.
The partnership created by Visit College Station and Santa’s Wonderland will encourage visitors to the attraction to also make plans to extend their holiday stay in College Station at a variety of Santa-Certified Hotels and to enjoy Christmas in College Station: a host of holiday events at College Station restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment venues. Christmas in College Station offerings range from Howdy Holly-Days at Northgate and the Holiday Artisan Market at Century Square, to Spirit Arena’s Ice Shows and the city’s traditional Christmas in the Park.
“More than 80 percent of our visitors come to us from other parts of Texas and beyond, and for most it’s their very first trip to College Station,” said Santa’s Wonderland owner Scott Medlin. “While this won’t be a typical year, we still plan on hiring 1,200 team members, revealing our biggest expansion in park history, and letting our guests enjoy more acres, more snow, more lights, and then all the other wonderful holiday events awaiting them in College Station.”
The tourism impact of Visit College Station and Santa’s Wonderland working together should be significant, according to Kindra Fry, senior director for Visit College Station.
“Strategic, forward-looking partnerships like this will allow us to help boost College Station’s hospitality industry and overall economy during a challenging time,” Fry said. “We’re ready to welcome our guests and help them create wonderful memories.”