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Council votes to focus on improving tourism

By JR Ortega
Nov. 15, 2011 at 5:15 a.m.


THE $130,000 BREAKDOWN

Create new historic interpretive displays

Project will cost about $31,000 for 12 signs including base, posts and panels.

Re-print Guide to Historical Markers of Victoria

About $5,000 for design, production and printing for 3,000 brochures.

Redo historic tour signs in downtown

There are 45 signs required that will cost about $5,000 to be done by the Victoria Public Works Department, plus the cost of new artwork.

Way-finding (direction) signs

Signs will lead people to areas of Victoria. It will start at U.S. Highway 87, from Loop 463 to Rio Grande Street.

Inez TxDOT rest area satellite visitor information center

About $10,000 for a six-month trial of staffing the Inez rest-stop between 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, the busiest travel days. Visitor information also will be available.

Redesign the Victoria Convention and Visitor's Bureau website.

Improvements are needed to make the website more useful in selling sports and heritage tourism. There also is talk of making it mobile-friendly.

Create Gateway Sign

Create a compelling positive gateway at one of Victoria major entry points. Keep Victoria Beautiful has shown preliminary interest in partnering with the city of Victoria.

Living in Victoria for 25 years and never going downtown sounds far fetched - but it has happened, and the city council voted to approve a measure Tuesday night to change that.

The council voted to carry over $130,000 from the Victoria Convention and Visitor's Bureau to improve signage and relations with travelers by promoting Victoria.

"This is exciting," Mayor Will Armstrong said.

Armstrong was recounting a story about a local woman at Friday's Veteran's Day parade who had never been downtown after having lived in the area for 25 years.

"You're marketing that we have something to show people," Armstrong continued. "Not only to the people on the highway, but our own citizens."

Plans are to use the $130,000 to create new historic interpretive displays, reprint a guide to historical markers of Victoria, redo the historic tour signs in downtown, create direction signs and add Victoria's presence to the Inez TxDOT rest area and satellite visitor information.

The fund also will be used to create a gateway sign for Victoria and improve the Convention and Visitor's Bureau Center's website.

Staffing the Inez rest area is probably the strongest point, said Victoria Public Information Officer O.C. Garza, who spoke to the council alongside LaRue Roth, the director of the Victoria Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

The traffic count shows that about 23,000 vehicles drive south from the Inez rest area each day.

"This is a great beginning," Councilman Joe Truman said. "I only hope it's the beginning."

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