AUSTIN, Texas — Texas is seeing new residents in droves – an average of 1,000 new people per day in 2020.
Austin is a hot spot for new businesses and residents. That's why one Hyatt-owned resort on north Lake Travis is offering a 30-night extended stay deal to "test drive" Texas.
Miraval Austin, a 220-acre resort and spa located about 20 miles northwest of downtown, is trying to tap into Austin’s boomtown economy.
"Austin is probably the hottest destination in the states right now. We know that a lot of people are wanting to move here," said Anthony Duggan, the area vice president and general manager for Miraval Austin. "As these companies are moving into Texas, there is going to be a need for people to stay somewhere before they find their permanent home in Austin."
The month-long stay comes at a starting cost of $18,500, which includes three meals a day, snacks and a daily resort credit, among other things like a massage and round-trip transportation to the Austin airport.
"It's just an opportunity for people to have a refuge in Austin, a safe refuge in Austin, where they can go out and experience and get to learn about the city and be able to retreat back here for as a place of, as a place of reflection," Duggan said.
The growth in the Austin area is no secret. One hundred and fifty-four companies relocated or expanded in the area last year, creating 21,864 jobs, according to data from the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.
"I don't think we can ever underestimate the power of just the energy and the innovation in Austin that makes it a great place for businesses to come locate or to grow," said Laura Huffman, the president and CEO of the chamber. "Giving people a chance to come stay in a beautiful place in Austin, test drive the community and see whether or not it's the place for them is, I think it's a creative way to approach the flexibility that people have right now with the pandemic."
PHOTOS: Miraval Austin letting guests 'test drive' Texas
At Miraval, digital devices are discouraged. You can wear a robe around the property for the day if you choose. And if you’re worried about getting bored during the 30-night stay, rest assured there’s plenty to do.
One option is the spa, named North America’s best for a resort spa in 2020 by the World Spa Awards. It has a breathtaking view of Lake Travis.
There’s also the yoga barn, if you’re looking to do some deep thinking (and stretching) about the big move.
Or if you’re looking to get your hands dirty, there’s 12 acres for that too.
"We have to take care of our 160 chickens first," said Hunter Coberly, the farm lead for Miraval Austin. "We feed them [an] organic diet, they get all the kitchen scraps and compost waste from the top. So they're actively producing about 100 eggs a day."
The farm-fresh eggs end up on your table as part of the farm-to-table dining experience at Miraval.
The farm also features horses for riding or painting. They also grow luffas, which are used in the guest rooms or given to guests who visit the farm.
And the experience you won’t want to miss is the Hill Country Challenge Course. It’s 30 feet in the air, a safety harness is required and you can’t be afraid of heights.
KVUE gave it a test drive and it took about 20 minutes from start to finish, all with the help of a professional guide. It included a zip line experience at the end.
The views at the top were a good reminder to take it all in, breathe and then take the next step – a helpful reminder for house hunting or preparing for a cross-country move.
Miraval Austin doesn’t have an end date for the test drive Texas experience.
The property does have strict COVID-19 precautions in place, including stepped up cleaning procedures and a mask requirement.
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