by Victor Lopez
FORT STOCKTON--They call it the gateway to Big Bend National Park, which is a tourist attraction in itself. The city of Fort Stockton hopes that with some beautification projects, they'll be able to keep some of these tourists for themselves.
According to Crystal Lopez, Interim President of Tourism for Fort Stockton, "We want people to know this is the beginning of their Big Bend adventure. They can gas up here, we have motels and restaurants, lots to see and do."
The Fort Stockton Convention and Visitors Bureau wants to make their city more beautiful and appealing to locals as well as out-of-towners.
Dwayne Bonham, the President of the CVB Board explains how they went about it, "We asked the city council to improve the looks of the city, a lot of buildings downtown, along Main Street, to make them a more friendly visitor attraction for the town."
According to Lopez, the project, which will be completed in four phases, comes with a pretty hefty price tag, "That's a $4 million project. That money will be taken from the hotel occupancy tax."
The parts of town getting "gussied up" include Dickenson Blvd, Main Street, the area known as The Four Corners and the historic site the city is named for.
"They are looking at doing some repairs at the historic fort. That is also into the Four Corners project, beautification phase," Lopez aded.
These projects come just in time for a milestone event, the city's 150th birthday celebration of the building of Historic Fort Stockton next October.