Category Archives: Recreation & Tourism

Skate Park Boosts Pharr Recreation

Victor Garcia Skate Park

A one-acre blast of fun is now part of the City of Pharr’s park system. The Victor Garcia Skate Park has been a long-awaited addition to the city and its young skateboarders. Officials say the V-shaped layout skate park gives Pharr’s recreational offerings a big boost. “This skate park was built based off of ideas put forth by our own kids and skating enthusiasts,” said Sergio Alanis, director of the…

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Harlingen Dedicates New Convention Center

Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell cut the ribbon to officially open the Harlingen Convention Center. (VBR)

City officials and community leaders gathered May 1 for a ceremony and ribbon-cutting to formally dedicate the Harlingen Convention Center. Attendees had a chance to tour the building and a community open house was on the schedule for the evening. Mariachis entertained guests upon arrival. A color guard made up of officers from the Harlingen police and fire departments started the ceremony. Harlingen school district students then led the pledge…

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Jumping to Heights of Success

The business plan is pretty simple. Offer modern facilities with kid-friendly fun, competitive pricing and top-notch customer service, and people will come. Xtreme Jump Trampoline Parks began in San Benito about three years ago and last month opened its newest location in Harlingen. They also have operations in McAllen, Corpus Christi and Laredo, with more planned in the near future for the Rio Grande Valley and other towns in Texas…

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City Nature Challenge Kicks Off

City Nature Challenge

The Lower Rio Grande Valley is joining more than 150 cities around the world for the annual City Nature Challenge. From April 26-29, the region joins eight other Texas areas in  the challenge to see which urban area has the most diverse landscape. Residents of cities and the surrounding areas can show the world just how much nature lives in Texas. Anyone can participate by joining an event or making observations using…

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Trail Park Planned for Elsa

City of Elsa Community Trail Park

An abandoned railroad property that runs through the center of town will soon face a transformation into the $1.25 million City of Elsa Community Trail Park. On March 20, the project became closer to reality thanks in part to a $500,000 grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. The city government will be providing $250,000 in local funds for the park. They are further expecting to receive $500,000 from the…

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RGV Airbnb Earns $11.5 Million in 2018

According to Airbnb, properties in its Rio Grande Valley host community took in earnings of $11.5 million in supplemental income in 2018. Approximately 80,000 visitors used the service while staying in the region. Cameron County hosts took in $10.5 million with 70,000 guests, while Hidalgo County hosts earned $947,000 with 9,500 guests. Willacy and Starr counties pulled in the final figures and guests. According to the most recent state-commissioned Texas…

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This Golf is High-Tech

A player at Topgolf in Pharr reacts to one of his shots. (VBR)

Topgolf is not so much about golf as it is a technology-driven entertainment experience. In fact, more than half of the people who visit Topgolf venues are non-golfers. And only eight percent classify themselves as avid players of the game. The new Topgolf in Pharr, the 50th location in the franchise, features three levels with 72 stations from which to whack balls out into a large area filled with targets.…

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RGV Towns Share Nature Prize

Thousands of black-bellied whistling ducks visit Ibis Pond at Estero Llano Grande State Park every winter, attracting birders visiting the Rio Grande Valley. (VBR)

From the deck at Estero Llano Grande State Park in Mercedes, I watched approximately 2,000 black-bellied whistling ducks in Ibis Pond as they looked for food, perched on logs and bobbed in the chilly November water. The park’s 200 acres of woodlands, lakes and marshes shelter an amazing abundance of wildlife from seven alligators to diverse birds, butterflies and 24 mammal species as well as native plants.  The mid-Valley park…

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Birding by the Numbers

Two birders scan the area with binoculars at Estero Llano Grande State Park. (VBR)

Some 800 birders visited the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival in November, its 25th year as one of the premier birding events in the country. With dozens of field trips to regional birding hotspots and lectures by internationally renowned birding experts, the festival’s staying power is a testament to the economic impact of ecotourism, and particularly birdwatching, in Deep South Texas. While there are no recent studies on the financial…

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Edinburg Seeks Executive Director

edinburg hiring

The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce and Edinburg Convention & Visitor’s Bureau is currently accepting applications for an executive director. The executive director is a key representative for business owners and employers in Edinburg. The position focuses on membership, tourism and advocacy, as well as quality of life. The executive director is responsible for the overall operations of the organization, being responsible to the board of directors for a full range of…

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