City of Vidor looks to the future

Published 9:25 am Saturday, January 13, 2018

By Larry Holt

The Orange Leader

The lion’s share of business at the Vidor city council meeting held Thursday, January 11 was discussions and proposals to promote hotel occupancy and tourism in the city through various methods including billboard signage at selected locations along Interstate 10 both East and Westbound as well as an advertisement campaign at Ford Park ball fields in Beaumont.

Mayor Robert Viator said, “We receive revenue from hotel occupancy tax and we should make sure those funds are used by the city to promote hotel occupancy. There are various ways we can do this.”

“It stands to reason if we get more people staying in our hotels, it benefits our retailers, our restaurants, and our city as a whole,” said Viator.

City Promoter, Charles Van Wright, was brought on board December 18, 2017 through a Lamar University internship to spearhead the effort and provided the council with research and recommendations for billboard signage as well as Texas Department of Transportation approved signage options that advertise hotels and restaurants in Vidor as well as directional signs for motorists entering the city.

The city is taking a multi-faceted approach that merges proposals to restructure and enhance their internet presence but also the work Van Wright is doing, and the Ford Park ball field advertisement campaign. Council Member Gary Herrera said of the promotional campaigns, “We can try it for a year and if it doesn’t pan out, we can do something different.”

The city website administrator encouraged restructuring the website for security and updating internet content for mobile devices to make it easy for tourists and citizens alike to know what Vidor has to offer and how to access hotels, restaurant, events in the area and the like.

“I know when I am traveling,” said Council Member Kelly Carder, “and I see a sign for something up ahead, before I even get there I’m on my phone or tablet and checking it out and possibly making a reservation.”

May 5th is Election Day for the city with three council positions at stake currently held by Gary Herrera representing Ward 5, Misty Songe representing Ward 3, and Angela Jordan representing Ward 2.   All three council members expressed their intent to run for reelection. Candidates for office must file for a place on the ballot between January 17 and February 16, 2018.

A special election will be held for Council Member for Ward 6 with a candidate filing date beginning February 9 and ending March 5, 2018. In the interim, city council in a vote of 4 to 2, selected former mayor Ray Long to fill the Ward 6 vacancy after council member Ted David Slaughter tendered his resignation effective December 22, 2017.