It wasn’t that long ago when Boerne was just a stop off for tourists and travelers on their way to other places, says Jeanette Teague, assistant director of Visit Boerne.
“We were a ‘How do we get to Fredericksburg, and can we use your bathroom?’” Teague said. “That was when the Visitors Center was housed in the historic Menger/Shumard house opposite the Walmart parking lot. It was very hard to get people to travel another mile and then stop again to visit our shops.”
Teague manages the day-to-day operations of the department of four employees and more than 20 volunteers as they work to market Boerne and all we have to offer.
The highlight for most visitors is the Hill Country Mile spanning the length of downtown and boasting high-end shopping, great restaurants, quaint lodging, and access to beautiful parks and trails. But the fun doesn’t stop there; as the staff at Visit Boerne can tell you, there is so much more to do in Boerne.
“Our goal is to get the word out to tourists in Texas and beyond about how special our little town is and encourage them to come to Boerne to enjoy our great hotels, restaurants, shops, and parks,” she said. “We have the fun job; we get to tell people about all the fun things to do to ensure they have a great experience and want to come back.”
Visit Boerne, formerly known as the Boerne Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the only entity dedicated to promoting the city as a tourism destination. The department’s work benefits local business owners by bringing in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to shop, dine, and stay overnight. All those visitors amounted to approximately $32 million spent in Boerne during the last year alone.
Perhaps the most impactful change during Teague’s nine years at Visit Boerne has been the relocation of the Visitors Center in 2019 to its new building at the end of the Hill Country Mile (282 N. Main St.), putting them at the center of the action for visitors.
Teague, along with Visit Boerne Director Larry Woods, actually sketched out the original floor plan of the new Visitors Center.
“This was a long and tedious process from beginning to end and was a very rewarding and proud moment the day we moved in,” Teague said.
The new space was funded 100 percent by occupancy tax revenue from the 685 hotel rooms and short-term rentals in town. In fact, that’s how the entire department is funded and staffed. No Boerne taxpayer dollars are utilized. But just because city taxpayers don’t fund the department’s work doesn’t mean they don’t benefit.
“While we strive to bring visitors and tourists to town, we also want to be a resource for our community members by providing information on what is going on in their town through our monthly newsletter and social media channels,” Teague said. “Our offices are traditionally open after hours for the Dickens on Main evening events and for the Weihnachts Parade to provide clean restrooms and information to community members attending these events.”
Most recently Visit Boerne gave away about 1,000 eclipse glasses leading up to the Annular Eclipse on Oct. 14. Teague said about 98 percent of the glasses were given to local residents.
Teague started with Visit Boerne in 2014 as an administrative assistant and was promoted to assistant director in 2016. She is proud of the work the City of Boerne does and is dedicated to promoting its mission and goals.
“I like being part of an organization that is making Boerne a better place to live,” she said.
Teague moved to Boerne in the early 2000s when her two daughters started school. Whether it’s a homecoming parade, running into friends at the grocery store, or even the noon siren, she loves the small-town charm that is cherished by so many.
“These are things that don’t happen in bigger cities. I am so blessed to get to live here and work here, too,” she said.
This profile is part of a series showcasing members of City staff who provide exemplary service. We want to spotlight their hard work and share behind-the-scenes things you might not know. Scroll down to see more profiles.