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Del Rio economy booming

Border city credits improved image, more jobs for growth

DEL RIO, Texas – It might not look like much when you first get to town, but Del Rio is on the rise.

"We've had a pretty big recent boom for the past year and a half," said Al Arreola, the executive director of the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce.

Business has been good for just about every industry. Brand new hotels house increasing numbers of tourists. New retail stores like Marshalls have opened up, and national names like Fuddrucker's and Kirkland's have opened their doors.

"Our marketplace is finally, I think, getting the recognition it needed to," said Arreola.

He points to several reasons for the growth. An increased federal presence is up first.

"These jobs are well paying, they have disposable income and they can also come shop locally," said Arreola.

The Chamber of Commerce also credits Lake Amistad for the recent growth. National fishing tournaments that have been held there and the subsequent coverage that they've received have brought lots of extra attention to Del Rio.

Increased business from Mexico also is key. Acuna, the town across the river, is 200,000 strong, and they shop at the new stores in Del Rio.

"If you really look at the market as a whole, that kind of puts us in line with Corpus Christi," said Arreola.

The city continues to project growth over the near future, and construction projects all over town back that up.