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Renovated Alamo Gift Shop Aimed At Increasing Income, Traffic

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Ryan Loyd

The Alamo gift shop reopened after a month of renovations to customers looking to scoop up historical keep-sakes of the Texas revolution.

“I grabbed a postcard, made sure it said Alamo on it, slapped it down, and wanted to be that first customer,” said Sue Wigston, who is in town from Ontario, Canada.

“We got caught up in the gift shop instead so now we're going to go back track and learn about the history of the Alamo,” she said.

That is exactly what Texas Deputy Land Commissioner Larry Laine wants people to do.

The reason the gift shop closed for a renovation is to attract more customers and increase revenue, since admission to the shrine is free.

"We feel like the way the traffic, so to speak, as the customers come in, they leave the shrine, they come in. The flow is better. A lot of the merchandise is a lot different,” he said.

But many of the items are the same, like Davy Crockett raccoon-skin caps.

Laine confirmed that the remodel may not have happened if not for a mix-up last year when the Daughters of the Republic of Texas managed the shrine.

Reports indicated that an original copy of the Texas Declaration of Independence was thought to be missing.

"The Attorney General's office was responding to some letters and some inquiries and that's what got it started, an investigation,” he said. “That got wrapped up and it was all wrapped up by the Legislature giving it to us and so we're excited about moving forward."

Laine said the DRT still manages the Alamo's day to day operations.

As Davy Crockett once said, "We have the right as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money."

None of the $250,000-$500,000 remodel used taxpayer dollars.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.