Growth in Del Rio's Water and Workforce Industries

With infrastructure that ranges from a strong water supply to new roads and a well-trained workforce, Del Rio, TX's business is booming.

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Lake Amistad National Recreation Area in Del Rio, TX
Brian McCord

The intersection of revitalization and growth is a good place to be, and that’s where Del Rio finds itself these days.

The city is benefiting from construction in every quarter. Whether it’s new roadwork or other infrastructure renovation, new businesses coming in or entire areas being revitalized and renewed, Del Rio is on the move. And thanks to a well-educated workforce, plenty of natural resources and a pro-business attitude, there’s plenty more where all this is coming from.

“We have a lot to offer, and people continue to realize that,” says Al Arreola Jr., executive director of the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce. “We are well positioned to capitalize on the major projects both here and all around us.”

Roads Lead the Way

Multiple road projects are helping to infill areas of Del Rio that needed transportation improvements, and also are providing opportunities for new businesses and residential areas. Veterans Boulevard, the city’s main thoroughfare, has been repaved and upgraded, as have Bedell and Dodson avenues. These improvements are being anchored by new hotel growth and expansions in the city’s growing health-care sector.

Ports to Plains

Del Rio is also avidly watching the developments being spurred on by the Ports To Plains Alliance, which is advocating for a major highway thoroughfare from the seaports of Mexico up through the United States and eventually to seaports in Canada. As planned, it would run directly through Del Rio, Arreola says.

State Loop 79/Laughlin Air Force Base

On a smaller but no less important scale, Del Rio saw the opening of the new State Loop 79 roadway, which encompasses the entire city and connects the lakeside toward Laughlin Air Force Base. And speaking of Laughlin, it was declared the busiest airfield in the United States in 2011, and Del Rio continues to benefit from the myriad activities there.

“They are as healthy as ever, and so the base’s contributions to us continue,” Arreola says. “We continue to benefit from their employees, who shop and live here, and by also providing goods and services to the base itself as much as possible.”

San Felipe Springs/Acuna Partnership

Underlying it all is the San Felipe Springs, a source of water that is literally centuries from being tapped out.

“We know that we have that sustainable resource for a long time, and having a stable water supply has been key to our business and residential growth,” Arreola says. “It is the literal groundwork that consistently helps us bring in new development.”

Now add in a 40-year, ongoing relationship with Acuna, Del Rio’s neighbor across the Mexican border. That partnership has not only led to significant industrial development between the two municipalities, but also for shared economic growth that will only continue with the major developments to come.

“The Ports to Plains project, and the many other things happening, are really going to be a way for Del Rio to capitalize on all that it has to offer,” Arreola says. “All these things are in line with what we’ve been doing for years, even decades, so we are definitely going to benefit.”

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Wed, 02/28/2018 - 21:22