On March 11, Arlington held its 15th annual State of the City Address with Mayor Jeff Williams. It recapped developments within Arlington during the past year, from the pandemic to the World Series. The presentation was divided into five sections: the pandemic, economic development, tourism, transportation and innovation, and championing great neighborhoods.
The COVID-19 Pandemic: Mayor Williams spoke about the onset of the pandemic and his pride in the state and local governments as well as the fire department for their commitment to helping Arlington residents. We also saw a tour of the vaccination center at the Esports Stadium where over 10,000 shots are being administered per day. Gov. Abbott remarked that everyone who had received their vaccination there said they had never seen an operation run “so effectively, so smoothly, so swiftly, and so easily.” Williams concluded the address by advising residents to stay strong as the city moves to put an end to the pandemic.
Economic Development: Due to the pandemic, Arlington has implemented the following economic relief measures: $23 million has been disbursed to small businesses across Tarrant County, $5 million to non-profits, $1 million for eviction prevention, $12 million for rental assistance, and there have been numerous small business campaigns such as the “Mayor’s Meals for a Mission” whereby residents were encouraged to safely support their favorite restaurants through curbside pickup or by getting takeout. The mayor matched the proceeds and they were given to Mission Arlington.
Job creation is another sure way to create revenue, Mayor Williams said, and Arlington has also made tremendous progress in this area. Williams highlighted D.R. Horton, the first Fortune 500 company to establish its national headquarters in Arlington. He also thanked the City Council Economic Department, Arlington Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and the Chamber for our economic development efforts. Of course, the “can-do” spirit of Arlington residents is largely responsible for these developments.
Tourism: Tourism is a major source of revenue; Mayor Williams refers to it as “Other People’s Money (OPM)”. Tourist attractions like Six Flags Over Texas, AT&T Stadium, the National Medal of Honor Museum, and Globe Life Field help to raise revenue while also creating jobs. Arlington has hosted a number of national and international events such as the 2020 World Series, concerts like Beyonce and Jay-Z’s OTR II, the 2021 Rose Bowl, and major rodeos. Finally, Arlington has remained the home of the much-envied Texas Rangers.
The mayor is looking forward to Arlington being the traveler’s favorite destination between Orlando and Las Vegas. He also sees more hotel innovation similar to Live! By Loews in the entertainment district — Arlington has the largest one in Texas.
CLICK HERE for part two.
Watch the State of the City Address HERE.