It all starts with a visit. Retirees who come to South Texas for the first time consider themselves Snowbirds. They leave the Rio Grande Valley as Winter Texans.

Throughout the winter, they drop dollars here, there, and everywhere. They buy gas and groceries, shop for home furnishings and warm-weather clothing, see their hairdresser and get their vehicles serviced, and visit the doctor and frequent the pharmacy. They are adventurous, too – always on the go to visit area attractions, historical sites, and community events.

Winter Texans are also a welcoming bunch, and most see friends and family visit at least once a season. They spend their hard-earned dollars throughout the Valley too.

In January of 2022, Welcome Home RGV hired UT-Rio Grande Valley’s Data Information Systems Center to take a deep dive into the economics of it all. Did you know Winter Texans spend approximately $1.2 billion each season, with an overall economic impact of $1.9 billion?

And that doesn’t factor in their gifts of service, their philanthropic efforts, or the fact that they pay property taxes.

It would be a very different world without our Winter Texans, and we will continue to do everything we can to make them feel welcome and to nurture and market to the next generation.

Here’s a quick one-pager of our survey results:

30th Annual Winter Texan Expo


The 30th Annual Winter Texan Expo is only 21 days away! We typically see close to 10,000 attendees at this two-day show. With over 100 exhibitors, entertainment throughout the day, and more door prizes than we can count, it’s a Winter Texan wonderland.

Big thanks to our sponsors who love our Winter Texans just as much as we do: City of McAllen, H-E-B, Digital AIM Media, Travel Oklahoma, Visit Corpus Christi, Texas Osteoporosis Foundation, Texas Regional Bank, South Padre Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Visit Harlingen.

Welcome Home RGV took over the Winter Texan Expo in 2014 and is just one of the ways we connect to the Winter Texan market. It’s not too late to become a vendor, for all the details visit our website.

Editor’s Note: The above two columns were penned by Kristi Collier, president and CEO of Welcome Home RGV. The columns first appeared on the group’s LinkedIn page. For more information about Welcome Home RGV, email: [email protected].


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