Expect Several New Businesses in 2006

More retailers, restaurants, and other businesses are expected to come to Lufkin in 2006, but that is not all the city is expecting.

There are just a few days left for some last minute finishing touches before the Starplex Cinema opens for business in Lufkin.

Jim Wehmeir, the economic development director, said, "They are opening Friday. We have two stadium seating cinemas. The [Carmike 9 in the] mall recently opened, and this one."

The Garden District will also be the home of two new restaurants coming to town, Johnny Carino's Italian Grill and Cheddar's.

Wehmeir said, "We'll continue to see a number of new restaurants, and we'll continue to see a number of new retailers announcing over the next 12 months."

Wehmeir says they don't focus a lot on retail because businesses are naturally coming to Lufkin, but they are focusing on a different project. They are looking at land to build an industrial park.

Just this past year, a thousand non-retail jobs were created in Lufkin. The goal is to keep that momentum rolling in 2006. The unemployment rate for Angelina County and the City of Lufkin is way below the state average.