Author Archives: Ricardo Cavazos, VBR content editor

Ricardo D. Cavazos is a Rio Grande Valley native and journalist who has worked as a reporter, editor and publisher at Texas newspapers. Cavazos formerly worked as a reporter and editorial writer at The Brownsville Herald, Dallas Times Herald, Corpus Christi Caller-Times and San Antonio Light. He served as editor of The Monitor in McAllen from 1991-1998 and from there served for 15 years as publisher at The Herald in Brownsville. Cavazos has been providing content for the Valley Business Report since 2018.

Harlingen Makes Park Destination Points

Harlingen's new Lon C. Hill Destination Park is a signature project in the city.

Living in Harlingen these days means having access to as much parkland and hike-and-bike trails as can be found in the Rio Grande Valley. It’s a point that Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell likes to make, as he did recently when the city marked the official opening of the Lon C. Hill Destination Park. The $3.3-million project transformed what was an ordinary green space. It is now over 50 acres of…

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Alamo B&B Caters To Birders

Birders are always welcome at the Alamo Inn.

The headline atop the easel paper pad was in all caps and featured “SIGNIFICANT SIGHTINGS.” Underneath the big letters there were 23 bird species listed that had been seen across the Rio Grande Valley over the first three weeks of April. Next to that column were another 13 bird species spotted at South Padre Island.  “It has been an exceptional year,” said Keith Hackland, who owns and operates the Alamo…

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San Juan Becomes Development Hotspot 

A new Taco Palenque is among the new restaurants and retail outlets opening in recent months in San Juan.

San Juan for years was on the periphery of the growth that came to define the McAllen-Pharr-Edinburg metro area. It was a stop of little notice when it came to business, heading east on Expressway 77/83. The feel began to change in the late aughts, around 2008, when H-E-B left Pharr to build and open one of its superstores in San Juan right along the expressway. It added a buzz…

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Valdez Sets Sights High For Weslaco EDC

Steven M. Valdez

The Weslaco Economic Development Corporation has a new executive director and its new leader comes from within the organization. Steven M. Valdez was selected as the executive director by the EDC’s board on May 19. Valdez formerly served as the EDC’s director for nearly five years. He comes into his new job with an understanding of the organization’s key functions. He also knows how it interacts with city government. Those…

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Analysts See RGV Economy Making Gains

Major hospitals are expanding and growing across the Valley.

The Rio Grande Valley’s real estate market currently has a scarcity of existing homes for sale. Residents holding on to properties as the region and country exits out of an economy influenced by the pandemic.  This analysis was among the views offered recently during a 2021 Rio Grande Valley Economic Forecast & Market Incentives virtual summit co-hosted by the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation. The event, which spanned over three hours,…

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Pluton Brewing Growth With BCIC

Good times and hard work are had at Pluton Brewery. (Courtesy)

There are stories of rock bands and software engineers getting modest starts working out of their garages on their first steps to success.  It worked for Van Halen and Steve Jobs. In Brownsville, there’s a hometown brewery that got its start among friends in a westside neighborhood off the Military Highway. Pluton Brewery Company was named after a street by that name in the Galaxia neighborhood. This is where some…

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Local Builder Builds His Own Success

New homes are popping up throughout Harlingen and includes this NEST home along Garrett Road.

Jason Cano as a young homebuilder learned the business from his father. He could have taken a traditional path in being employed by a construction company and working his way up. The Harlingen native, as a fresh college graduate in 2004, went through several job interviews with national home building companies. He was offered various positions. It wasn’t for him, Cano decided. He wanted the freedom and latitude to take…

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RGV Airports Roar Back With Flights, Facilities

The sleek new terminal at Brownsville/South Padre International Airport (Courtesy, Alan Hollander, Tequila Group)

Valley International Airport last spring resembled a high school campus in June. “Empty hallways” is how Jose Mulet, the airport’s director of air service and development described it in looking back to the start of what would be a difficult year for the U.S. aviation industry.  In McAllen, City Manager Roel Rodriguez said McAllen International Airport “went through the worst year it has ever seen, maybe, and will ever see,…

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Youth Sports Lead The Way To Recovery

Soccer tournaments are a key part of the youth sports events McAllen hosts every year. (Courtesy)

The road back to tourism recovery in McAllen leads through its youth soccer, baseball, softball and football fields in the view of a city official who has spent years cultivating relationships that have brought teams and visitors by the thousands to local parks. Robert Lopez, the vice president of Visit McAllen, is hardly allowing the setbacks of 2020 to temper his ambitions to bring more youth sports events and tournaments…

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Educators Extend Passion Into Business

Armonia Music Academy & Store owners and instructors Karina Vela and Ari Gonzalez.

Avi Gonzalez and Karina Vela have plenty to do with their day jobs as public school music educators.  In early 2020, they added even more to their duties in opening a business with a connection to what they know best. The Armonia Music Academy & Store in San Benito is their version of the School of Rock with an emphasis on violins, acoustic guitars and vocals.  The partners have turned…

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