Willcox steps up marketing efforts, wants greater cooperation across Cochise County

Willcox steps up marketing efforts, wants greater cooperation across Cochise County
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    WHEN TRAVELING WEST ON INTERSTATE 10 FROM NEW MEXICO WILCOX IS ONE OF THE LARGEST COMMUNITIES DRIVERS MAY NOTICE FIRST IN ARIZONA. INSTEAD OF JUST PASSING BY OR MAKING A PIT STOP KALEB WANTS TO ENTICE THEM TO STAY AWHILE. >> SO WE HAVE OUTDOORS. WE HAVE RECREATION, NICE COOL EVENINGS, HOT SUMMER DAYS. BUT THERE'S A LOT HAPPENING IN WILCOX. >> AFTER WORKING IN ARIZONA SEVERAL COMMUNITIES, ONE OF HIS TOP PRIORITIES IS TO PROMOTE THIS COMMUNITY, GET THE WORD OUT SO WILCOX BECOMES A DESTINATION NOT JUST A THOROUGHFARE TO SOMEWHERE ELSE. >> THIS IS OUR VISITORS CENTER. IT'S THE COCHISE COUNTY WILCOX VISITOR CENTER. SO WE GET A LOT OF TOURISTS COMING DOWN FROM TEXAS. SO WE WANT TO MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION OF THEM FIRST ON WHAT'S IN WILCOX, SECOND IN COCHISE COUNTY AND THIRD WHAT'S IN OUR STATE. SO YOU'LL SEE ALL OF THAT ADVERTISED IN OUR VISITORS CENTER. SO WE'RE UPDATING IT. BUT THE BIGGEST THING IS WE WANT PEOPLE TO COME OFF THE HIGHWAY, WHICH FOR A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE. IF THEY COME FOR A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE, WE THEN WANT TO PUSH THEM INTO OUR CITY SO THAT THEY SPEND DOLLARS LOCALLY AND SUPPORT OUR ECONOMY. >> AND THE TOWN IS COUNTING ON SEVERAL INDUSTRIES TO ELEVATE ITS STATUS IN THE WORLD OF TOURISM. WINGS OVER WILCOX IS AN ANNUAL CELEBRATION THAT FOCUSES ON ANNUAL MIGRATORY CRANES, REAL SNOW BIRDS THAT SPEND THEIR WINTERS IN THE AREA. THE COMMUNITY IS ALSO KNOWN FOR WESTERN CULTURE AND HISTORY. SCENIC OPEN SPACES AND THE NATIONAL MONUMENT AND BEYOND AND A GROWING WINE INDUSTRY IN COCHISE COUNTY. THIS INDUSTRY PRODUCES A BULK OF THE WINE IN THE STATE. >> THE REASON WE COME DOWN HERE IS WE HAVE A PASSION FOR WINE. 70% OF ALL THE WINE GRAPES IN ARIZONA ARE GROWN IN THE WILCOX BASIN, THE WATER BASIN HERE AND THIS IS WHERE YOU'VE GOT TO GO. FROM THE VALLEY TEMPE SPECIFICALLY AND WE LOVED IT UP THERE AND WE PROBABLY COULD HAVE STAYED A LOT LONGER BUT THIS A GREAT PLACE TO GROW FRUIT AND MAKE GREAT WINE. >> ALONG WITH GRAPES OTHER PRODUCTS ARE TURNING AGRICULTURE INTO DESTINATION MAGNETS. LIKE THE ORCHARDS OF ANIES. MOVING FORWARD AS YOU CONTINUE TO WORK ON THIS COMMUNITY WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IT IN 5 OR 10 YEARS? >> SO A LOT OF PEOPLE WHEN I FIRST STARTED THEY SAID WE WANT A HOME DEPOT, WE WANT A WAL-MART. THOSE INDUSTRIES WILL COME WHEN THEY WANT TO COME TO WILCOX. TO ME IT'S ALMOST UNREALISTIC BECAUSE DATA DRIVES EVERYTHING. ANALYTICS DRIVES EVERYTHING. THEY KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE COME THROUGH HERE. WAL-MART IS GOING TO GO WHERE WAL-MART WANTS TO GO. OUR NICHE RIGHT NOW IS MARKET AND TOURISM. SO LET'S DO IT WELL. LET'S GROW OUR TOURISM BASE. LET'S MARKET OURSELVES REALLY WELL. LET'S HELP OUR RESTAURANTS BE SUCCESSFUL. AND IF THOSE THINGS ARE SUCCESSFUL AND THOSE THINGS GROW, OTHER THINGS WILL COME DOWN THE ROAD AS WELL. >> GREG HANCOCK IS ORIGINALLY FROM ANOTHER PART OF THE STATE, BUT WHEN HE AND HIS WIFE WERE LOOKING TO INVEST THEY ZOOMED IN ON WILCOX. >> I'M ORIGINALLY FROM STAFFORD, ARIZONA, AND I ENDED UP HERE, WE SAW THIS OPPORTUNITY AND SAW OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH IN WILCOX AND THOUGHT WE COULD MAKE A GO OF THIS. >> WHAT DID YOU SEE IN WILCOX? >> WE SAW THE WINERIES COMING IN AND WE'VE SEEN A LOT OF THE AGRICULTURE REALLY PICKING UP WITH TREES BEING PLANTED AND SAW A LOT OF PEOPLE STARTING TO MOVE HERE FOR THOSE REASONS. >> AND HOW DID YOU COME UP ON THIS PROPERTY, AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO OPEN IT UP? >> WE PICKED UP THIS PROPERTY. A GUY STARTED FIXING IT UP AND RAN OUT OF MONEY, AND SO HE LET IT GO. AND WE SAW THE POTENTIAL HERE, SO WE INVESTED AND BOUGHT THE INN AND GOT IT UP AND RUNNING. >> WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE APPROXIMATE AMOUNT YOU'VE INVESTED SO FAR. >> WE'VE INVESTED CLOSE TO A MILLION. WE HAVE ALL THE EXTRA EVENTS THAT GO ON IN WILCOX. >> AS A BUSINESS OWNER AND RESIDENT WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS CITY LACKS THE MOST? >> THIS CITY PROBABLY LACKS IN GETTING ALL THE PEOPLE AROUND TOWN OPTIMISTIC ON THEIR TOWN AND WANTING TO SEE IT GROW. KIND OF STUCK ON HOW IT HAS BEEN IN THE PAST AND DON'T REALLY ACKNOWLEDGE THE -- WHAT IT COULD BE. >> BUT THE CITY IS TAKING STEPS TO TURN A NEW PAGE. FORMING A NEW MARKETING AND TOURISM COMMISSION THAT MEET WEEKLY. THERE COMMUNITY LEADERS AND BUSINESS OWNERS TRADE IDEAS ABOUT HOW TO MARKET THEMSELVES EACH OTHER. >> IT'S HARD TO HELP PEOPLE CATCH THE VISION, AND THAT'S SOMETHING THIS COMMUNITY HAS ACTUALLY DONE A GREAT JOB OF DOING IS ALL THESE BUSINESS OWNERS AND EVENT ORGANIZERS, THEY'VE CAUGHT THE VISION AND THEY'RE ON FIRE RIGHT NOW AND THEY'RE WANTING TO WORK AND SEE THINGS HAPPEN. THE OTHER BIG PART IS WILCOX, WE CAN'T DO IT ALONE. WE NEED COCHISE COUNTY. YOU'LL SEE HERE WE HAVE BISBY, THE BISBY MINE TOURS AND TOMBSTONE. IT'S ALL WORKING TOGETHER AND GETTING OTHER COUNCILS FROM OTHER GROUPS TO WORK WITH US AS WELL. WE NEED TOMBSTONE TO BUY INTO IT AND SAY, HEY, THERE'S MORE THAN JUST TOMBSTONE. WE CAN ENLARGE THE PIE INSTEAD OF SLICING OVER A SLICE OF THE PIE. AND THE MENTALITY IN THE PAST HAS BEEN LET'S FIGHT OVER THAT ONE SLICE. INSTEAD LET'S BUILD A LARGER PIE AND BAKE A LARGER PIE SO WE CAN ALL HAVE LARGER SLICES OF IT.
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