From Texas Public Radio:
The Hill Country continues to draw tourists and retirees from some of the state’s biggest cities. It is also a relocation destination for new Texans, including those from California.
But Kerrville is not content with attracting only tourists and retirees. It wants to attract new industries and create skilled jobs at home too.
Mayor Judy Eychner has called Kerrville home for more than three decades. Looking from the window of the Dairy Queen at Kerrville’s main drag — Sydney Baker Street — it’s clear the traffic is not typical of a small Texas town.
“We have traffic, so we have to wait more than one time at a stoplight, and we never had to do that, so we fuss,” she said. Eychner explained that a lot of that traffic comes from rural Kerr County and surrounding counties.
“Kerrville has become a hub,” she said. “We’ve become a medical hub [and] a retail hub. We’ve also become an arts and crafts culture hub, and so many of our people don’t live here. They’ve come in for the day to do shopping, go to the doctor, go to HEB and [then] they go home at night.”
The HEB chain of grocery stores was born in Kerrville, and the HEB Foundation is based there. The arts and crafts culture includes a range of businesses, from small artisans up to James Avery Craftsman, which employs nearly 500. The Clint Orms Engravers and Silversmiths make belt buckles for the Professional Cowboys Rodeo Association and pro golf’s Ryder Cup.