AUSTIN, Texas — The Tower Observation Deck at The University of Texas at Austin will be open for four special evenings (May 15-18) of Twilight Tours just before Commencement, and also will feature evening tours as part of a new summer schedule.
Tower Tour Coordinator Hoa Nguyen said the pre-Commencement Twilight Tours are being offered in response to the increased number of out-of-town guests, family members and alumni coming to Austin for Commencement events and in anticipation of their interest in touring the Tower.
The special pre-Commencement Twilight Tours will be May 15-18 and will be held on the hour beginning at 6 p.m., with the last tour starting at 9 p.m.
The summer schedule for May 25 through Aug. 27 will offer hourly Twilight Tours on Thursdays and Fridays at 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m. On Saturdays, the hourly tours will begin at 2 p.m., with the last tour starting at 9 p.m. Sunday daytime tours, which are offered during the regular academic year, will be discontinued during the summer.
“Anecdotal information and feedback suggest that weekdays and evenings are popular times for tours. By adding evening hours during the week, we offer more scheduling choices. Guests seemed very satisfied with Twilight Tour visits in fall 1999, saying that the cool evening hours were lovely ones for enjoying the scene and viewing the sunset,” said Nguyen.
She said that in addition to soaring temperatures, June, July and August are characterized as a slower time for the Texas Union due to a decreased student population. On the other hand, summertime often means out-of-town guests, tourists and fun-seekers.
“Locals and visitors alike may turn to the Tower Tour as a summer attraction. Our special summer schedule offers a variety of late afternoon hours including sunset and moonlight tours,” said Nguyen.
Tour reservations may be made in person at the Texas Union Information Center in the Texas Union building, corner of 24th Street and Guadalupe. They also may be obtained by calling 475-6633 locally, or 1-877-475-6633 from outside of Austin, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets cost $3.00 per person, payable by cash, check, MasterCard/Visa or money order.
Nguyen said reserved tickets are available only on the day of the scheduled tour. Tickets must be claimed 20 minutes before the tour time or the reservation is forfeited. Unclaimed tickets are sold to stand-by patrons 10 minutes before the starting time for each tour. Visitors may sign up to be on this list on a walk-up basis starting one hour before a scheduled tour.
“You won’t need anything on the Observation Deck other than a ticket. You will be allowed to bring a camera, binoculars or video recorder but must leave behind everything else, including purses, camera bags and tripods, fanny packs and diaper bags. If you do not want to leave these items in your vehicle, you can rent a locker at the Texas Union for $1,” Nguyen said.
Note to editors/producers: For additional information, contact Hoa Nguyen at (512) 232-6009, or visit the Texas Union Tower Tours Website at www.utexas.edu/tower.