Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2008 | More than 30 years ago, my family and I moved to Grapevine, Texas. Our downtown was virtually dead. Restaurants were few and entertainment was non-existent. However, we did have a few things going our way. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport had just opened with every terminal located in Grapevine. We also had great schools and a city government with vision. Today, we are the envy of Texas for a number of reasons. Sure, the airport was a catalyst to get things going, but the real deal today is our City Council recognizing the importance of conventions and tourism to our town.

As we moved to this end, the City Council realized that we had no potential for land growth. This is because our city was locked in by neighboring cities boundaries. So the council took a very tough approach to any development, developer and/or builder. Many proposed projects were flatly rejected. Others were forced to change designs drastically. The city was completely re-zoned to put in needed buffers. We stripped off the old aluminum siding and discovered beautiful historic brick store fronts. Ordnances were passed to preserve and protect our history. A steam train was purchased and operates today. Then, Gaylord Entertainment came to town.

While we thought we were doing well before they arrived, we had no idea what their impact would be and still find it difficult to imagine the future. Sure, there were some great negotiating marathons between the Gaylord and the City Council. These were necessary to bring the best for both the Gaylord and the City of Grapevine. The economic boost, Gaylord’s genuine support of Grapevine, their contributions to residents and businesses, are nothing but stellar. The jobs they create, the taxes they generate, the beauty they add. … all pluses. They have been very effective communicators, listened to our residents and made major changes to accommodate our citizens in the past and continue to do so today.

Chula Vista, don’t let this “gift horse” get away. Embrace them. They will make you proud!

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