Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Big dreams can bring big transformation
By the Advocate Editorial Board
Jan. 19, 2013 at 4:01 p.m.
Updated Jan. 18, 2013 at 7:19 p.m.
Imagine attending a rodeo in an arena big enough to seat thousands and feature a performance by a major star in Victoria. What if Victoria had an event center big enough to host a national conference? Or, what if we had an indoor facility in town big enough to host high school and college graduations?
These are all possibilities that come to mind when we think of the proposal from two Victoria businessmen who want to build a 500-acre, multi-use facility in Victoria. The facility would be east of Zac Lentz Parkway at Airline Road and include an event center, facilities for livestock shows and athletics, a full-service hotel and retail space.
Rawley McCoy, president of the architecture firm Rawley McCoy and Associates, and Steve Roth, president of Roth Construction, presented this concept, as well as 18 months of research to the Victoria County Commissioners Court on Jan. 14. They also brought color schematics of the facility they would like to build.
The commissioners expressed their support of the proposal at the meeting, and we are excited to see members of the community stepping forward and showing a willingness to invest in Victoria's tourism future. Many communities of the same size as Victoria or smaller have large event centers capable of hosting everything from major sporting events to conferences and concerts. The nearby community of Edna is home to the Brackenridge Event Center, which hosts multiple rodeos and livestock events, as well as conferences, the circus and Rezfest, an annual Christian music concert featuring several of the biggest names in the industry.
It is true, Victoria currently has a community center, but while this may be big enough to host a bridal show or some small, regional conferences, it is not a center built to accommodate major events. We would like to see Victoria become a destination city. Right now, Corpus Christi has Victoria listed as part of its target area to attract tourists for concerts and major events. Instead of sitting back and letting residents go elsewhere for special events, why not build a facility that will allow these events to come to Victoria?
We understand there are risks involved. The project is still in the early planning phases, so many factors must still be considered. Any proposal must have a solid business model and make sense before it can become a reality. But part of what excites us is the amazing range of possibilities Victoria could see from this center. If we want an amazing event center, we need to be willing to dream about the possibilities it could offer. Once we've taken time to dream and create a vision, then we can decide if the vision is attainable. But if we don't consider the possibilities for greatness, anything we build will fall short.
Any project has naysayers, and we do not expect this proposal to be any different. But we know Victoria could profit from this investment. We must not be afraid of the possibility of failure. If we are afraid to take a risk and move forward, we face the possibility of falling back. This investment could be a risk, but it would be a calculated risk with carefully compiled and analyzed information to help make this the best event center it can be. We think Victoria is ready to take that chance.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.