Amarillo City Council gives initial approval for Bug Ranch being in tax-increment finance zone

The soon-to-open Bug Ranch in Amarillo likely will be eligible for tax-increment financing for its move from Conway, Texas, and other improvements at the site.

According to the Amarillo Globe-News, the City Council approved the development of the Big Texan Slug Bug Ranch project on its first reading as part of the East Gateway Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone. The site is in front of Starlight Ranch in east Amarillo, just off Interstate 40.

Once a measure passes its first reading, final approval during the second reading is almost a formality.

More from the newspaper:

At a development cost of $219,790 to transport and improve the property for the new location of the Conroy Bug Ranch, Big Texan owners Bobby and Danny Lee sought $90,000, or 40%, in matching funds for the investment once completed to upgrade the area. These upgrades include a dedicated parking lot, sidewalks, general beautification, and lighting.

This is expected to be another iconic Route 66 art installation that will give visitors another reason to visit and stay in the area. Route 66 is known for its quirky art installations and attractions that people worldwide visit.

Bobby Lee, co-owner of the Big Texan, expressed that he thinks this will spur more tourism and development in the area, with visitors coming by daily even while the project is still under construction. With the five original Volkswagen Beetles, there will also be additional cars and limousines to use as canvases for visitors. The project will include lighting, and travelers will be able to visit the site, day or night. […]

Lee believes that the work of the Route 66 Association, which will manage the location, will bring more eyes to Amarillo and keep people in town longer, which will, in turn, become a return on the investment. He also feels that the TIRZ, if used properly, can be a valuable asset for development and tourism.

The nonprofit Bug Ranch Association is in charge of preserving the site.

Dora Meroney posted several photos from the Bug Ranch site of ongoing construction.

The official christening of Bug Ranch is scheduled for 6 p.m. on June 14 as part of Amarillo’s Route 66 Festival.

(Image of the Bug Ranch under construction in  Amarillo via the Bug Ranch Association)

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