Priority No. 1, he said, was redeveloping Weslaco’s downtown area. The second is creating quality of life projects like hike and bike trails and pedestrian-focused walkways.
“What I envision is developing some kind of cultural arts district downtown and developing a corridor along Business 83 and developing some kind of venue where we can bring retail, some amphitheater and a farmer’s market. Things like that,” Trevino said.
Other pins on the Weslaco map are its nature tourism locations like Frontera Audubon, the Valley Nature Center and Estero Llano Grande State Park. While these locations may be fuzzy on the memory of local citizens, many national and international tourists pass through these sites each year. Visitors locally, state-wide and internationally travel to these locations by the thousands each year.
“We have three world-class nature sites,” said Vanessa Barrios, Business Retention and Marketing Director for the Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco. “Ecotourism is a million dollar industry in Weslaco and the Rio Grande Valley. People come to Weslaco from international destinations specifically for these three attractions; they spend the night here, eat at our restaurants, and enjoy everything Weslaco and the Rio Grande Valley have to offer.”
Frontera Audubon has seen visitors from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Holland, Austria, the Netherlands, Mexico and Germany.
“Most of them come from cold climates, so they don’t want to be inside when they’re here,” Barrios said. “These places are fairly inexpensive to get into.”
Between the economic boom, the geographic location and Frontera Audubon, the Valley Nature Center and Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco’s stock seems to be rising along with other Valley cities.