F1 1: How does nearly a billion dollars in estimated annual economic impact effect Austin exactly? We plan to keep our eyes and ears open. “They are the ones buying those thousand-dollar bottles of wine,” one F1 party patron told me last night about the splurging visitors. Well, that explains one sale at least, but not the wider economic impact in terms of job creation, tax revenues, etc. Beyond hotels, which increase their rates this week, restaurants seem to do quite well, anecdotally. The big winners the first two years: Steakhouses. Tourists in Texas seem drawn to them. Expect some hard numbers from Statesman business reporter Gary Dinges not long from now when he analyzes the TABC reports for October and November. Another line of questioning: Are some of the private F1 parties in peril because of stricter city and TABC standards after SXSW 2014? We’ve heard about small events canceled or big parties nearly closed down this year, but no confirmations yet. Send us your tips.
F1 2: A good place to find out about ancillary employment during Austin’s mega-fests is an industry mixer. Heyman Talent South staged a small get-together at the W Hotel Austin while hotel employees prepped for a series “Blu” F1 bashes. Among those guests who chatted about this weekend’s special gigs were photographers, models, stylists, publicists, techs, cooks, designers and students who will help levitate events such as the Amber Lounge, My Yacht Club, Full Tilt Fashion Show, Luxe, British Consulate’s Garden Party, Marquee Las Vegas, Fan Fest and Better Worlds Awards — to name just a few. It’s not just the clothes, settings, food, drink, service, lights and sound, it’s the locals hired to look good. That might sound alien to Austin culture, where good looks abound freely. But sometimes, it’s not an accident.
F1 3: It’s amazing that any photographers showed up to the Heyman mixer. It seemed like everyone who owns a camera was way across town at Aquavilla, the singular manse owned by precious metals dealer and Circuit of the Americas investor Milton Verret. At this early F1 party, one could witness ready work for caterers, mechanics, retailers, financiers, decorators and, especially, real estate agents. Turns out the hilltop house with the expansive view of Lake Travis and the aquatic design is also for sale. Embedded TV screens in various rooms around the three nested floors showed a video from Cord Shiflet Real Estate with drone-eye views of the estate. You might already know that Verret and family collect really high-end cars. A few of them were on ceremonial display inside and outside glassed garages that lead to the mansion’s entrance. Asking price for the spot: Just under $8 million. Don’t think the cars are included.
F1 4: Where to eat this weekend? Get a clues from Matthew Odam‘s Top 25 and more: “With my third annual dining guide, I limited my top restaurants list to 25, down from 50. In previous years, the gap between 40 and 60 was negligible, and I wanted a tighter, more competitive list. (In order to share some of my other favorites, I created an additional roster of 100 places I like to eat). As in years past, I looked for a group of restaurants that serve as a snapshot of Austin’s vibrant dining scene. These aren’t necessarily the most expensive restaurants, but it is a dynamic group of places I believe matter the most right now. I visited each place on the list (and many others) at least once in the past year.” http://projects.statesman.com/features/top-restaurants/