THE ALAMO, SAN ANTONIO — The reimagined Alamo Gift Shop reopens at 9 a.m. Friday with dramatic flare, as a William Barret Travis reenactor slashes through the ceremonial ribbon with his sword.
Members of the media can get a sneak peak of the new store and its one-of-a-kind-Alamo merchandise Thursday afternoon.
"The Alamo Gift Shop is now a destination shopping venue with gifts you can't buy anywhere else," said Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who took over management of the Alamo in 2011. "We've rethought everything to turn reverence into revenue for the Alamo."
Coffee cups, magnets, T-shirts and other items commemorating the historic return of Travis' "Victory or Death" letter are already in stock, and reproductions of the letter and an official exhibit guide will be available in time for the letter's historic, two-week-long public exhibit, from Feb. 23 to March 7.
The Alamo relies almost entirely on revenue from the gift shop to preserve the Shrine of Texas Liberty and keep it open to the public free of charge. The gift shop earned $4.6 million in gross sales in 2012, its last year under the management of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.
Revenues should increase with the new gift shop and its new management, Event Network, Patterson said. More revenue means better preservation for the Alamo. "Our goal was to turn the gift shop into a vital part of the visitor's experience with a dedication to historical integrity," Patterson said. "The Alamo's story is amazing, and people want to feel connected to it once they get it."
This is the first major renovation of the Alamo Gift Shop since it was established by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas in the Alamo Museum in the 1930s. Often mistaken as part of the original Alamo compound, the building housing the Alamo Gift Shop was built in 1937 as one of nine Texas Centennial Museums honoring the 100th anniversary of Texas independence.
Event Network has an impressive track record partnering with historic locations, iconic destinations and national treasures across the country, including Gettysburg National Military Park and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum.
For more information on the Alamo Gift Shop changes, please visit the Texas General Land Office website at glo.texas.gov or the official Alamo website at thealamo.org.
WHO: Larry Laine, Chief Clerk of the Texas General Land Office
WHAT: Ribbon cutting to reopen the Alamo Gift Shop
WHEN: 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8
WHERE: The Alamo Gift Shop, 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, Texas 78205
WHY: To remember the Alamo with a unique gift.