Lockhart prepares for Formula 1 race fans

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by JADE MINGUS / KVUE NEWS and photojournalist SCOTT MCKENNEY

Bio | Email | Follow: @JadeM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 30 at 11:01 PM

LOCKHART, Texas -- When Formula 1 fans race into Central Texas in November, Lockhart expects thousands of them to spend their time and money in the city.

Lockhart is already known internationally, thanks to its four famous barbecue restaurants that include Black's Barbecue. It has been in business since 1932, and the owners expect long lines on race weekend.

"We will definitely try and be ready for the crowds because we know they will be coming," said Eric Lenderman of Black's Barbecue.

The Lockhart Municipal is also gearing up. The city recently finished a renovation and resurfacing project there. It will accommodate race fans who want to fly into Lockhart, the third closest airport to the F1 track next to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and the Austin Executive Airport. The Lockhart Airport expects business to double on race weekend.

"We are 21 miles from Formula 1, so we are very, very close; maybe even 21 minutes depending on traffic," said Cheryl Burrier with Martin and Martin Aviation at the Lockhart Municipal Airport.

The new SH 130 toll road is expected to open in October, and city leaders say it will provide easier access to the "Barbecue Capital of Texas."

There are still rooms available at the three hotels located in Lockhart. The city is in negotiations now to attract two new hotels.

"Certainly, within the second race we will have one up," said Lockhart Economic Development Director Sandra Mauldin.

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