San Antonio…a wonderful place to visit and the perfect place to live and do business. A city rich in many cultures and resplendent with its own unique charm. A city growing fast while holding onto its easygoing way of life.
San Antonio History: founded as a military garrison in 1718 by the Viceroy of Spain, San Antonio was called the ”Presidio de Bejar." Its accompanying mission, “San Antonio de Valero," established the same year, became known later as the Alamo.
San Antonio figured prominently in Mexico's struggle for independence from Spain. Colonization brought a wave of Anglo-American immigration from 1821 to 1836. But gradually, resentment against Mexican rule grew into armed revolt. In 1836, Santa Anna, president and dictator of Mexico, marched on San Antonio and defeated a small band of Texans at the battle of The Alamo on March 6. However, Santa Anna was defeated the following month at San Jacinto, and San Antonio then came under the rule of the newly formed Republic of Texas until its annexation to the United States in 1845.
Geography: San Antonio, the seat of Bexar (pronounced BEAR) County, occupies an area of 341,230 square miles of south central Texas at the edge of the Gulf Coastal Plains, about 140 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico. The average elevation is 701 feet above sea level.
Climate: The location of San Antonio gives it a modified subtropical climate. While the summer is hot, with daily temperatures above 90 degrees more than 80% of the time, mild weather prevails during much of the winter months, with below-freezing temperatures occurring an average of 20 days a year. Relative humidity is above 80% during the early morning hours most of the year, dropping to near 50% in the late afternoon. San Antonio enjoys about 50% of the possible amount of sunshine during the winter months and more than 70% during the summer. View the current San Antonio weather.
Population: The City of San Antonio population has grown 18.4% from 785,940 in 1980 to 930,000 in 1996. The Metropolitan Statistical Area (three counties) has grown 17.6% from 1,072,125 in 1980 to 1.5 million in 1997.
Government & Taxes: San Antonio has a council-manager form of city government. The city manager is appointed by the city council. Ten council members are elected by district , and the mayor is elected at large. There is no personal income tax in Texas. Sales tax on taxable retail sales is 8 percent.
Utilities: Electricity and gas are provided by City Public Service, a municipally-owned utility. Several water companies service the greater San Antonio area, but the majority of service is provided by San Antonio Water System.
Transportation: VIA Metropolitan Transit is the local public transportation agency serving the greater metropolitan area. The city aviation department operates two municipal airports. Six bus lines serve San Antonio, as well as over 42 common-carrier truck lines and four railroads.
Housing: A plentiful supply of all types of housing is available in the San Antonio area: homes for rent or purchase, condos, apartments, and retirement complexes.
Education: San Antonio's 15 school districts are independently administered. Children attend school in the district in which they reside. There is no busing of students across district boundaries. A child must be five years old on or before September 1st of the year entering kindergarten. San Antonio also has more than 100 private and parochial schools at all levels of education.
There is a wealth of institution of higher education. San Antonio's 19 colleges and universities offer a wide variety of programs and degrees.
Employment: The San Antonio metro area has seen tremendous growth over recent years. From 1980 to 1990, wage and salary employment increased by 50%. The largest employment sectors in San Antonio continue to be government, trade, and services. These three industrial sectors account for 75% of the area's payroll jobs. Services remains the fastest growing industrial sector in San Antonio. It has grown by 28% in the last five years. Manufacturing now accounts for only 9% of wage and salary employment, and construction accounts for only 5%. Job availability information can be obtained by contacting the Texas Workforce Commission. The mailing address is P.O. Box 9205, San Antonio, Texas 78285, and the phone number is (210) 222-8484.
Military: The large concentration of government workers is due mainly to the location of five military bases in the area. These four air force bases and one army post employ over 36,495 military personnel and 34,028 civilians (active duty only). The annual economic impact of the Department of Defense on the local economy is $3 billion. The local military influence is credited with maintaining the stability of the area economy. Traditionally, San Antonio has not suffered as greatly as most other areas during recessionary periods.
Culture & Recreation: San Antonians enjoy a wide variety of cultural attractions and entertainment. There are several community theatres, the Symphony Society of San Antonio, a number of museums, and dance companies. The city administers over 6535 acres involving 135 parks and 22 swimming pools. Fiesta, a week-long festival, occurs every April and was originally staged as a memorial to the heroes of The Alamo. Three parades are held during Fiesta week, as well as numerous festivals, art shows and other celebrations. San Antonio is the home of the San Antonio Spurs NBA professional basketball team and the San Antonio Missions professional baseball team.
Points of Interest: Major tourist attractions include The Alamo, along with its four sister missions, the River Walk, La Villita, HemisFair Park and the Tower of the Americas, El Mercado, the San Antonio Zoo, the Japanese Tea Gardens, Sea World of Texas and Six Flags Fiesta Texas. There are many other attractions too mumerous to name here. More information is available from the Visitor Information Center.