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New Braunfels Hopes German Roots Attracts Tourists in Off-Season

A web short highlighting Wurstfest, a New Braunfels attraction that reels in 120,000 tourists a year. Video by Axel Gerdau.

In a city perhaps best known for its summer recreation and once-a-year “ten day salute to sausage”, New Braunfels is trying to capitalize on its German heritage to bring in tourists year round.

“We are a destination in the summer for Schlitterbahn and the river, and people know about Wurstfest,” New Braunfels Mayor Gale Pospisil told KUT News. “But we have a great deal of German heritage here, and one of the things we’ve been working on is trying to spread our tourism over the entire year.”

Pospisil says, for example, the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce is working on a smartphone app that would allow people to conduct self-guided tours of the places important to the city’s German heritage.

“It’s a good way to show that New Braunfels is lot more than just its rivers,” she said.

While city officials are trying to highlight the town’s German roots, there is still plenty to of room for that sector of their tourism industry to blossom, according to one local German restaurateur.

"People come here looking for a German town and they're disappointed. People come in here and ask where can I buy lederhosen and I don't know what to tell them. There's nowhere," Friesenhaus owner Guenter Dirks told

Meanwhile, Target announced today the oldest dance hall in Texas, located in New Braunfels’ historic Gruene district, will be included in a national advertising campaign.

A Target spokesperson told that they chose Greune Hall for their “Cool Never Fades” campaign because it demonstrates “what is quintessentially cool no matter how much time passes by.”

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.