City of Fort Stockton Pulling Out All the Stops to Boost Tourism

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

FORT STOCKTON-- If pulling out all the stops means spending almost $2 million, then that's exactly what they're going to do.  The money will go toward the typical historical hot spots, but Fort Stockton also has plans for their ace in the hole.

"It's nothing like it along I-10 in the State of Texas," Doug May, Executive Director of the Fort Stockton Economic Development Corporation, said.

May says he's excited, not only about the new look coming to town, but what it will bring with it, "One of the things we would like to do is, just like every city, capture as many tourism dollars as we can.   The only way you are going to capture it is if you get them to come into town."

From restoring some of the older historic sites to bringing in brand new pieces.  They're revamping town from one end to the other.

"We're going to have 2 large silhoutte sculptures on each end of town.  One of the Cavalry troup with will be located on the East side of town.  Then we have one of a group of Comanches, on the West side of town," May explained.

A brand new arch will mark the beginning of the historic tour and stone signs will mark each location.

The Hispanic Culture contributed much to the growth of the town, but most of the related buildings are gone. May says, there will be a section just for that purpose, "An eastern terrace will be dedicated to an interpretation of the Hispanic, Latino history and cultural influence on Fort Stockton."

The best part is, Fort Stockton residents won't have to pay any out of pocket.  "This will all be funded by Hotel Motel tax dollars.  It won't be funded by local taxes," May said.

As May put it, the end result will be a big boost for everyone, "I think it will benefit the region, not only Fort Stockton. A lot of the people that go to Big Bend come through here.  We'll promote Big Bend and the area as well."

Ground breaking and construction on the project is expected to start in early August.   City officials hope to have some of the new pieces up in time for the 150th anniversary of the Fort in October.