Weslaco EDC Inaugural Bus Tour a Huge Success

Pictured from left to right: Vangie Saenz, Chamber Board Member, Johnny Bautista, Chamber Board Member, Steven Valdez, EDC Director, Marie McDermott, EDC Executive Director, Doug Croft, Chamber Director, Bob Calvillo, Chamber Board Member, Elizabeth Walker, City Secretary, (Center) Maria Cisneros, EDC Manager, Joe Olivarez, EDC Board Vice President, Richard Talbert, EDC President, Diana Fuentes Aquilar, EDC Board Member, Cynthia Cabaza, EDC Board Secretary, Ron Garza, Executive Director, LRGVDC, David Fuentes, Hidalgo County Commissioner Precinct 1, David Suarez, Mayor of Weslaco, Jerry Tafolla, Mayor Pro-tem District 4. Not seen in picture,Greg Kerr, Commissioner, District 2 and Jose Cabeza de Vaca.

Texas Border Business

Weslaco-  The Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco announce the success of its first, fiscal year-end bus tour circling an 18-mile route that featured 21 EDC & City locations of growth and economic prosperity.

The tour bus, provided by Valley Metro and the LRGVDC seated 24 passengers including, EDC Board of Directors, the Mayor & Commission of Weslaco, Chamber Director & Chamber Board Members, Hidalgo County Commissioner, Precinct 1, David Fuentes, city administrative staff and EDC Executive Director, Marie McDermott and EDC staff.

Much like a guided tour of celebrity homes in Los Angeles, the route began at City Hall in Weslaco highlighting  a portion of the building soon to host the UTRGV Center for Innovation and Commercialization (CIC) and the Robert C. Vacker College of Business & Entrepreneurship – Doctoral Program, along with a proposed site for student housing within walking distance to the center.

The bus continued though the historic downtown district promoting recipients of the Weslaco 100 and Facade Grants where EDC monies were made available to business owner occupying older buildings worthy of preserving.

The bus then traveled along FM 1015 where city & county leaders/passengers learned of the economic benefit of having an Overweight Corridor allowing overloaded and tandem trucks to move more product per load.  They also got to see Texas A&M Kingsville’s temporary portable classrooms and future site of $500,000 improvements to their Rio Grande Valley Engineering program.

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The latter half of the tour took officials to the Mid Valley Industrial Park in Weslaco to see the beginnings of CiLogistic’s $7.5 million investment in logistics and warehousing, as large tractors were seen clearing and leveling land, along with the future cite of McAllen Aviation’s 40 leasable T-hangars at the Mid Valley Airport.

The tour ended its run along the frontage of Interstate 2, starring Weslaco’s most obvious explosion of growth in retail and restaurant development.  Dignitaries saw construction sites for T-Mobile, Domino’s, Extreme Nutrition and Bar-B-Cutie Smokehouse as well as recently completed Jimmy John’s and Slim Chickens where to-go lunch boxes were prepared.

At the end of the tour, EDC Board President, Richard Talbert encouraged the group to partner with the EDC in seeking additional property to grow the city’s industrial park.  “As you can see,” says Talbert, “we have sold out of available space and we need to be looking five to ten years down the road from now to make room for industries that see Weslaco’s centralized location to the region as an advantage.”

The event was the brain child of EDC Executive Director, Marie McDermott.  “We’ve purposely organize a well-defined schedule of construction and improvement sites in Weslaco and catered that tour to people that are invested in our growing economy and I expect the impact to be greater and more meaningful,” says McDermott.  McDermott plans to make the tour an annual event.

For more information on the inaugural EDC bus tour and a list of locations, please contact the EDC office of Weslaco at 956-969-0838.