Two years after it opened, downtown’s Discovery Green park has drawn 55 percent more visitors than projected and has emerged as a key asset to Houston’s convention business, officials say.
The 12-acre, $122 million park has attracted an estimated 1.7 million visitors, or 850,000 per year, director Guy Hagstette said. Prior to its opening two years ago today, the park’s operations consultant projected it would attract 550,000 people a year, an estimate the park’s leaders thought was too high, Hagstette said.
Discovery Green has become our new town square,” said Greg Ortale, president of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, which operates the George R. Brown Convention Center adjacent to the park.
Discovery Green has been a crucial selling point in booking several conventions, Ortale said, giving conventioneers a view of green space teeming with people rather than of the parking lots that occupied the space before the park was built.
We continue to love Discovery Green. The girls are always up for a trip to “the downtown park”. They’re already pestering me to let them play in the Gateway Fountain – sorry, not quite warm enough yet. The only complaint I have is that the children’s playground area needs a little maintenance, and has needed it for some time now. Otherwise, it’s all good. Discovery Green is what downtown Houston has needed for a long time – a focal point that we can all be proud of. I sincerely hope that the Market Square renovation is half as successful as Discovery Green has been.