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Amarillo, Tx- Regional Agricultural and Industrial Center

by Howard Giske

Amarillo Texas is a regional economic center in the Texas panhandle and adjoining areas of New Mexico and Oklahoma. Its population is about 183,000 and its metropolitan area in the surrounding four counties has about 236,000 people. In downtown Amarillo, the tallest buildings are the 31-story Chase Tower, and the Amarillo National Bank Plaza One building. These may be the most outstanding pieces of Amarillo real estate.

The city's largest employer in 2005 is Tyson Foods with 3,700 employees. Other large employers are the Amarillo Independent School District, BWXT Pantex, which is in the nuclear weapons assembly business, Baptist St. Anthony Health Care, and the City of Amarillo. Regional industry includes copper refining and the meat packing industry with as much as one quarter of United States beef is processed in the region. The surrounding area is rich in the raising of cattle, milk production and other agricultural goods, and there are still major oil fields. The Amarillo Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) is funded by a city sales tax, and has worked aggressively to provide incentives to prospective employers, such as Bell Helicopter. This is how Bell Helicopter Textron's development of the V-22 Osprey hybrid was brought into the city.

Amarillo has a number of natural attractions near the city, the most outstanding one being Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Palo Duro Canyon is 120 miles long, as much as 20 miles wide, with a depth of 800 feet. Its elevation at the rim is 3,500 feet above sea level. Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States after the Grand Canyon. The Canyon was formed by water erosion from the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River.

The city has events and attractions honoring the cowboy and rodeo. During the third week of September, the Tri-State Fair & Rodeo brings participants mostly from Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas to Amarillo. The World Championship Ranch Rodeo sponsored by the Working Ranch Cowboys Association is held every November in the Amarillo Civic Center. The Amarillo Art Center, opened in 1972, is a building complex with an art museum and concert hall located on the Washington Street Campus of Amarillo College. Don Harrington Discovery Center, located in the city's hospital district, is an interactive science center and space theater with over 60 hands-on exhibits. Near the proximity of the Discovery Center, the Amarillo Botanical Gardens has gardens, indoor exhibits, and a library for visitation throughout the year.

The colleges in the city are Amarillo College, a two-year community college with over 10,000 students; Wayland Baptist University in Amarillo; and Texas Tech University at Amarillo, a branch campus of Texas Tech University that offers selected master's degree programs. West Texas A&M University, in nearby Canyon, is the regional university in the Amarillo area and the Texas Panhandle.

Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport is the area airport. Amarillo is an important part of the rail freight system with the BNSF Railway complex in Amarillo and the Union Pacific Railroad also sending goods to or through Amarillo.

About the Author

Howard Giske writes about Amarillo real estate and nationwide real estate at

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