San Benito Aims to Become Tourism Destination
SAN BENITO, TX
Many tourists visit the Rio Grande Valley for the beaches, shopping, and the unique culture the border region has to offer.
Now the city of San Benito wants to join cities like South Padre Island in becoming a tourist destination city.
With a population of approximately 24,000 and growing. The City of San Benito wants to become a tourist destination.
Right now, tourist may visit the city the most during festivals or for museum visits.
Since 2016 the city has adopted plans to change the city’s designation. Part of that changes includes the approval of various plans such as the ‘City Comprehensive Plan,’ ‘Parks Master Plan,’ and ‘Downtown Revitalization Plan.’ Since then, the city has also hired staff to oversee downtown coordination and the cultural districts.
News Center 23 has been following the Downtown Revitalization plan since 2016. We met with Downtown Coordinator for the City of San Benito Bernard Rodriguez just a few days after he began work with the city.
“Downtown did not deteriorate overnight and It’s not going to happen overnight,” says Rodriguez.
We reached out to the City of san Benito and they say that the city is working on creating a new identity: becoming a destination city.
They also plan on the creation of new events and promoting existing events.
Although the city tells us they plan to work with existing events, In October 2017 there was a dispute that cancelled Conjunto Fest. In response, the city held its own music festival on the same weekend the iconic music festival was scheduled, Resaca City Music Festival (RCMF). The city claims that even though it featured conjunto music, the RCMF had various types of music aimed at a different target audience.
Museum Coordinator Luis Contreras told us, “In no way were we trying to now overshadow the work that the Narciso Martinez Cultural Art Center did. It is seen as that. Comments have been made, but in no way were we trying to overshadow it.”
San Benito Plans more Music Festivals in the future based on the Resaca City Music Festival turnout.
In addition, The city plans to expand its cultural district to help with tourism.
Overall, it’s an ambitious plan. One that may take decades to complete, In the meantime, the city is taking steps to improve a declining downtown, improve the parks system, and fix many other issues.
Here is a list of the Existing and New Events the City hopes to support in the upcoming year. (As provided by the City of San Benito)
2. Resaca City Music Festival
3. Community Christmas Program in the Park
4. Annual Christmas Parade
5. Hog Waddle Country Concert and Sanctioned BBQ Cook-Off
6. Kayak Regatta
7. Texas Independence Day Celebration
8. Indian Pow Wow
9. Veterans Day Parade and Tribute Ceremony
10. Memorial Day Silent March of Veterans and Tribute Ceremony
11. San Benito Chamber of Commerce Health Expo
12. San Benito Chamber of Commerce Bike Tour
13. San Benito Market Days (9 months of the year)
14. Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame & Museum Noche De Ronda
15. Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame & Museum Induction Ceremony & Dance
San Benito Comprehensive Plan – https://tx-sanbenito.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/1826
Parks and Recreation Master Plan – https://tx-sanbenito.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/1453
Downtown Revitalization Plan – https://tx-sanbenito.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/1598
Active Transportation and Tourism Plan – https://tx-sanbenito.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/1502