Attracting Retirees to East Texas

by Larry Little

East Texas offers many potential selling points to seniors. "We have natural scenic beauty. We have a nice climate.  We have low tax, moderate cost of living and we have recreational opportunities in East Texas," says Pineywoods Economic Partnership Chairman, David Alders.

Now, a campaign is underway to promote the rivers, lakes, wooded areas and all East Texas has to offer. The Pineywoods Economic Partnership is pushing to increase the population of East Texas by attracting retirees. "They are low impact from the standpoint of crime. They are stable and well established people. They actually bring in twice as much revenue to local governments as they cost in government services so their is every upside. I don't see a downside to attracting retirees," says Alders.

A new marketing campaign is being introduced. It will be featured on billboards around the country and centers around the Texas Forest Country theme. "From the outside looking in who are we? We call ourselves East Texas but what exactly is East Texas? So we developed the idea the Texas Forest Country. It brings together the feeling of the woods, the lakes, the rivers, just the feeling of home," says marketing contributor, Sally Alvis.

A lot of work is being put into making Lufkin and other East Texas cities retirement communities, but what does this mean for the young population in East Texas. "Hopefully it says to the youth we are going to have economic development around here, so you can come back and find a job. You go to school and pursue a degree, we don't want you to think the only opportunity is in major metro areas. Come back to East Texas," says Alders.

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