WACO, TEXAS - In a video message Tuesday, Chip and Joanna Gaines, the couple known lovingly as “Chip and Jo,” broke the news home improvement lovers never wanted to hear: their show “Fixer Upper” is coming to an end after its fifth season.
“It’s just become such a big part of our lives,” the couple said in the video. “Y’all have become a big part of our lives. You’ve invited us into your living room.”
News quickly spread in their hometown of Waco.
“I’m very sad because I love that show,” said Bernie Saenz, who’d traveled all the way from Roanoke, Virginia, to visit the Gaineses’ famous “Magnolia Market at the Silos.” It’s a space in downtown Waco with shops, food, gardens and more. It was Saenz’s first time to Waco in a decade.
“Oh my gosh, when I get on the plane, I see all these women that are coming to Waco—little town Waco—to come and visit this,” she said.
Indeed, Carla Pendergraft from the Waco Convention and Visitor’s Bureau says Chip and Joanna’s Magnolia brand has had a “profound” impact on the city’s tourism. Before Magnolia, Waco would see about 600,000 tourists a year. This year, the city is expecting 2.8 million people.
“We’ve seen the impact. It’s great. It’s great for us,” said Trisha Griffin, who’s been a Waco realtor for almost 20 years. She says the real estate market has also seen the so-called “Magnolia effect.” There’s now a shortage of available homes.
"We’ve got people from California, Nevada, Oregon, all over that are coming to Waco because they want to be near the Gaineses,” she said.
“They’re just down to earth, and they’re just so real,” said Sue Klamp, who, along with her husband Walter, drove for two days from upstate New York just to see Magnolia Market. They said the city had never been on their radar before “Fixer Upper.”
“We had the chance, we’re retired now, so we thought—why not?!” they said.
Business owners, realtors and residents alike hope that attitude keeps up, even with the show coming to a close. The Magnolia brand continues to grow, they point out.
“We’re not going anywhere. At the end of the day, you can find us here in Waco, Texas,” Chip said in the video.
And folks here hope the allure of seeing Chip and Jo keeps people coming back, too.
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