Amarillo may soon have a cowboy Disneyland tourist destination

Video - Amarillo may soon have a cowboy Disneyland tourist destination - KFDA

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - A Toot’n Totum Travel Center will be built on the corner of Lakeside and I-40 East, with groundbreaking in the next few weeks.

“Largest facility they have ever done, about 16,000 square feet. It is going to have two fast-food restaurants, a truck stop so it will have an area for truckers, an area for typical drivers that are driving along the interstate, it will have a dog park, RV gas pumps, truck gas pumps so and I think up to 120 truck parking spaces for overnight truckers to park there overnight. So it’s a large scale project, over 10 acres of development,” said the Director of Planning and Development Services Andrew Freeman.

The East gate tax increment redevelopment zone board uses taxes collected on increasing property value in economic development zones to fund incentives for more growth. They have been together since December 2016 with the responsibility of developing the East part of town.

“The goal is $100 million of net new development, should all these projects that we’ve talked about and taken under motion, were expecting about $34 million worth of development already in the next couple of years,” said Mercy Murgia, TIRZ 2 chairwoman.

A market study was done by an outside company to see what the community needs and what would thrive in that market.

“We looked at all kinds of things. We looked at, hotel, retail, indoor-outdoor water facilities, athletic facility,” said Murgia.

“And what came out of that study is we really need to find a bigger demand driver, like an athletic facility that would bring more residents, more visitors that would stay in hotels, and that’s what build new hotel rooms and new retail that would all feed off of each other,” said Freeman.

Nothing is set in stone, but the research suggested an athletic facility where tournaments can be held would be very beneficial in the area to bring in revenue. They hope to keep the Big Texan theme and create a Cowboy Disney tourist attraction area.

“When they were initially talking about what it might look like, it was going to build off the Big Texan brand westerns theme as far as the structures look like and everything so yeah I thinks they will be working to keep that theme and continue to grow it from there,” said Freeman.

I-40 East has about 50,000 travelers a day.

The TIRZ board wants to grow the East Gateway Amarillo area without having to compete with downtown. Their next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 19.

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