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Council votes to focus on improving tourism

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

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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