Houston Paid ‘The Bachelor’ an “Insane” Amount of Money to Film There


Getty Houston Shelling Out the Big Bucks

When “The Bachelor” producers select a location for the cast to visit during filming, they don’t just go where they think they’ll have the most fun. According to a May 23, 2022 article on Houston’s KTRK-TV website, the producers chose to take the season 26 cast (Clayton Echard’s season) to Houston, Texas because the city paid them $240,000 in taxpayer dollars to do so.

Why would they do that? To attract visitors to the city, according to the public agency whose job it is to market the metropolis: Houston First Corporation (HFC). As reported by KTRK-TV, HFC made a deal with “The Bachelor” because they thought showing the city’s restaurants, landmarks and other hotspots on a national television show would bring in more revenue than the nearly quarter of a million dollars they invested.

Houston Residents Boldly Express Their Opinions

KTRK-TV reports that taxpayers in Houston were not happy to find out about this financial transaction. One resident balked, “That’s insane. I didn’t think they would actually pay to bring them here. I just thought he was kind of like, you know – Houston, Texas, it’s the big city.”

Another resident expressed, “I think that’s too expensive. They already make enough profit off of the show, so why are you still trying to upcharge us for just Houston, coming to Houston.”

Houston made a similar deal with the cooking competition reality show “Top Chef,” for an undisclosed amount. Whether or not the investment paid off is up for debate. According to KTRK-TV, local lifestyle editor Steven Devadanam said, “the value the city gets from being a part of national shows like The Bachelor and Top Chef can’t compare to a 30-second TV ad the city might produce with the hopes of someone in another city watching it and deciding to visit Houston.”

Did the Investment Pay Off?

NRG Stadium Houston Texas

ABCThe Bachelor Bowl in Houston TX NRG Stadium

The value of the $240K investment increased somewhat because the original deal was to air one episode in Houston, but ABC ended up airing two. This is primarily because a lot went on in Houston, including Echard and the bachelorettes playing football at NRG Stadium.

It is difficult to track whether Houston made its money back, and to what extent. However, the General Manager of a local hotel where the production staff stayed during their trip to Houston, claimed that “after the Houston episodes of The Bachelor aired, there was an increase in visitors who asked where certain scenes, like the rose ceremony, were filmed,” KTRK-TV reports.

Robin Wong, a restaurant owner whose establishment was part of the filming, was enthusiastic. Wong was unaware that Houston actually paid “The Bachelor” to come there, but he enjoyed the experience, and is “glad Houston’s food scene is being featured on national TV.” According to KTRK, “he does think it is worth the cost.”

Reddit users have a variety of opinions about whether or not Houston made the right move. One user posted, “The economic impact from the Bachelor filming here will dwarf the $240k paid by the city. Pretty reasonable investment imo.”

Another Reddit poster countered with, “It still doesn’t make it right. This Laissez-faire attitude across the country when it comes to subsidizing and giving tax breaks to large businesses is exactly why our parks, roads, and schools are s*****. It needs to stop.”

Another exchange between two Reddit posters went like this: User 1: “The points that are made in the article are correct. Even though I hate shows like the bachelor. This gets peoples attention when they are looking at moving to Austin or Dallas and also directs a lot of business towards the business shown.” User 2: “i dont want the people who watch the bachelor to move here tho.”

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