A look into what drives Shamrock's economy - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

A look into what drives Shamrock's economy

SHAMROCK, TX - Saint Patrick's Day is the busiest time of year for this panhandle city.

It's also what drives their economy and keeps tourism alive.

Residents wait 364 days for the one day they say brings in the majority of their revenue and sales tax. Each year, St. Patrick's Day brings anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 people.

"We have the fourth largest St. Patrick's celebration," Mayor Buc Weatherby proudly said. "We've got three to four days of activities and great food."

It's an event Weatherby lives for and what Shamrock's economy relies on.

"The businesses that stay open do great," he said. "The restaurants this year did record numbers."

Economic Development Coordinator Dave Rushing also acknowledges the great revenue March 17 brings to the city.

"We literally had restaurants running out of food," he said. "That's unheard of."

With just over 600 hotel rooms, we're told not a single one is available during the St. Patrick's Day weekend. In addition, antique and collectable shops up and down the city get flooded with business.

"I'm going to say it probably brings in at least $8 million to town just over that weekend," Rushing added.

For the remainder of the year, the city relies on tourists to visit the now nationally recognized U Drop Inn Conoco station and cafe.

"We have about 2,000 people a month sign our book that are passing through," Rushing said. "We have people from all over the world come in and take pictures."

Now even if you haven't been to Shamrock, the building may still look familiar.

"It was featured in the Pixar movie Cars  and Cars 2," Rushing said.

And recently, the U Drop Inn has made its mark at California's Disneyland.

"They've built Cars Land at Disneyland," Rushing said. "They have built a replica of the U Drop Inn there near the gift shop."

And that's just one more bragging point the city has to its name.

"A lot of people in Shamrock are really proud to be here," Weatherby said. "This is a great place to live."

For more information about the City of Shamrock, visit www.shamrocktexas.net