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Entry from July 03, 2013
World’s Largest Hotel Lobby (San Antonio River Walk nickname)

The San Antonio River Walk passes by many downtown hotels. The “world’s largest hotel lobby” has been an untrademarked nickname of the River Walk.

“We have the world’s largest hotel lobby downtown” was said by Steve Moore, executive director of the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, in 1993. The Bureau also promoted the nickname in advertisements.

Wikipedia: San Antonio River Walk
The San Antonio River Walk (also known as Paseo del Río) is a network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River, one story beneath the streets of Downtown San Antonio, Texas, USA. Lined by bars, shops and restaurants, the River Walk is an important part of the city’s urban fabric and a tourist attraction in its own right.

Today, the River Walk is an enormously successful special-case pedestrian street, one level down from the automobile street. The River Walk winds and loops under bridges as two parallel sidewalks lined with restaurants and shops, connecting the major tourist draws from the Alamo to Rivercenter Mall, to the Arneson River Theatre, to Marriage Island, to La Villita, to HemisFair Park, to the Tower Life Building, to the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the Pearl Brewery. During the annual springtime Fiesta San Antonio, the River Parade features flowery floats that “float” down the river.

10 March 1993, San Antonio (TX) Express-News, “City’s ‘walkability’ called key to luring ‘96 convention” by Jeff Davis:
“We have the world’s largest hotel lobby downtown,” said Steve Moore, task force member and executive director of the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau.

27 June 1993, San Antonio (TX) Express-News, “Welcome to Hotel Alley”:
“This is the world’s largest hotel lobby!” is one of his (Steve Moore, executive director of the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau—ed.) favorite mantras. The sentiment is this: San Antonio’s finest hotels are downtown.

Google Books
The Meeting Professional
Volume 21, Issues 7-12
Pg. 69 ad:
Then, step into the world’s largest hotel lobby — the River Walk. Located in the heart of downtown, your delegates will be within walking distance of an array of restaurants, shops and of course, the world-famous Alamo.

28 July 2006, Austin (TX) American-Statesman, “San Antonio scores again as sports town,” pg. C1:
“The thing I like about San Antonio is that you can walk everywhere. We have the River Walk, which we call the world’s largest hotel lobby.”
Pay to Play
By Rick Hill :  Thursday, August 23, 2012
Since 2008, the city has almost doubled the size of the River Walk (aka “the world’s largest hotel lobby”), added 34% more downtown hotel rooms and kicked off the “Decade of Downtown.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Wednesday, July 03, 2013 • Permalink