San Marcos public safety agencies are preparing for tens of thousands of visitors to area stores and the Premium and Tanger Outlet Malls in San Marcos as Texas shoppers take advantage of tax-free weekend August 17-19.
San Marcos police, fire and EMS will have an increased presence at the outlet malls in coordination with the Texas Department of Transportation, the malls and other city services.
To accommodate the expected crowds, TXDOT and the city will close exit ramps at southbound Centerpoint Road (Exit 200) and northbound McCarty Lane (Exit 201) from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 17-18. The City’s Transportation Division has been assisting in the preparations.
Drivers heading south on I-35 will need to take McCarty Lane (Exit 201) to reach the malls or take Posey Road (Exit 199) and loop to the east frontage road. Those driving northbound on I-35 may take Posey or Centerpoint Road exits.
The ramp closures will help guide traffic toward the malls, located on the east side of I-35 at Centerpoint Road, and help prevent traffic backups on I-35. Signs will alert motorists of the changes in the exits.
Extra police staffing for patrol and calls for service are expected Friday through Sunday. Additionally, officers will be stationed between the two malls for traffic control between noon and 6 p.m on Saturday and Sunday. Officers will be assisted by parking staff and volunteer members from the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association.
The San Marcos Fire Department will station a fire engine on scene and have a roving SAR unit (smaller ATV response vehicle) that can quickly maneuver around traffic for medical first response aid and quick attack fire response.
EMS will also have a unit rotating through on standby those two days. Heat is a big concern this weekend for shoppers and emergency responders working outside on foot and bicycle patrol.
During tax free weekend, shoppers get a break from state and local sales taxes on the purchase of most clothing, footwear and backpacks priced under $100 and most school supplies.
COVER: Premium Outlets and next-door Tanger Outlets are a major retail destination year-round but especially on high-turnout days like the upcoming sales tax holiday weekend.