Canyon gets grant for Tex Randall project - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Canyon gets grant for Tex Randall project

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CANYON - A project three years in the making is now closer to becoming reality in Canyon.

The Tex Randall project will finally begin in the near future thanks to a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation that will pay for more than half of it.

For 54 years, Canyon's towering cowboy has stood tall in a lot off Highway 60.

El Patio Mexican restaurant moved next door to the 47 foot cowboy 11 years ago.

"For as long as we've been here, he's been pretty weathered, but hopefully that will change soon," said Eric Perez, son of El Patio's owner.

And change, it will. TxDot granted the city of Canyon $275,182 to renovate the property into a one of a kind rest stop. The area will be landscaped and a tourist center, bathroom and benches will be erected.

The money for Tex's face lift will come from private fundraising.

Even in his dilapidated state, Perez says he sees travelers stop to take pictures of Tex Randall every day.

"We've had people in here from Germany and different places in Latin America," Perez said. "So for some reason, it draws a crowd."

Tex Randall looks down on Highway 60, and the hope is that once he gets his make over, he can convince drivers to make a stop and spend some time in Canyon.

The city hopes to restore Tex back to what he looked like in 1959, when an old curio shop owner built him to attract customers.

"He's very very important because he's a panhandle icon," Canyon Main Street Program Coordinator Evelyn Ecker said.

Ecker says Canyon is the number one destination for mountain biking in Texas thanks to Palo Duro Canyon, but the city has much more to offer with a town square full of shopping and quaint restaurants.

"People are searching for getaways that are like ours. Not a lot of people, kind of laid back and the quaintness of a small town," she said.

 A small town, she says, where visitors are guaranteed a tall Texas welcome.