Alamo Inn B & B Puts South Texas on the Map
There is one place in Alamo that has visitors flocking from all across the United States. Since its inception in 1999, the Alamo Inn B & B has remained one of the foremost tourist hotspots in the area. Owned by a family trust, the establishment is run by innkeeper, Keith Hackland, a South African transplant who is an avid birdwatcher himself.
The structure was originally a commercial building before being bought and restored into a small inn. As the market demand grew, so did the inn with several more buildings and apartment-style suites added to the accommodations. As the largest inn specializing in birding in the both Texas and the United States, birding enthusiasts from over 23 countries visit yearly.
Gaining Momentum with International Birding Enthusiasts
Hackland has promoted the inn and South Texas internationally at events such as the British Birdwatching Fair held each summer in Rutland County, England and at the Scottish Birdfair in Edinburgh, Scotland. The efforts are in conjunction with South Texas Nature. According to Mr. Hackland, his hard work at the birding festivals is paying off as the British are flocking to the Valley for more than just great Mexican food.
“I helped put South Texas on the map in Britain,” he says. “Before, we would have one (international tourist) stay with us here and there, but now we get several per week from all across Europe.”
Birds of a Feather Flock Together
Hackland thoroughly enjoys his job due to his keen interest in birding. He describes his fellow birding enthusiasts as “wonderful people” who are “active, educated, outdoorsy and passionate.” He also says Alamo’s central location, proximity to the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and close-knit community of supportive residents also make an ideal location for the inn.
Hackland credits the inn’s superior customer service to some sage business advice given to him a long time ago. “Always listen to your customers,” he says with the soft lilt of his native accent. “They will tell you what they need and we in turn provide that.” The inn provides some of the most comprehensive services around for birding and nature lovers.
Aside from the charming inn and suites, guests at the Alamo Inn B & B can enjoy an outdoors store and firsthand information provided on-site including maps, checklists, publications and guided tours.