GROESBECK, TX — Waco officials say they've attracted more than 800,000 tourists to Central Texas. Now, other communities have began to take notice.
Limestone County has a unique plan to lure tourists over for a visit. But the most popular tourist attraction in the county doesn't bring in big numbers.
"Typical day, well, from zero to sometimes you get 10 to 15 (tourists)," said volunteer Michael Shields.
Larry Smith, who is the head of the Limestone County tourism efforts, plans to change that with a simple belief and marketing plan.
"If you have something other people like, you share it," said Smith.
How can he seem so sure it will work?
"We were the only ranch in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that would allow people to come," Smith said. "I looked up one day and the cowboys were spending more time showing people around than tending cattle."
After leaving the ranch, he moved to a smaller town outside Groesbeck. He eventually headed up the tourism effort here.
Limestone County has lots of history to offer, and that's a good thing because Smith says that's the number one thing tourists want to see.
And with Waco's tourist business booming, county leaders believe they can lure people to visit Limestone's lakes and historic sites.
"Waco does a fantastic job with their tourism, a lot to see there, but folks that are going around might want a day trip. We'd like to see them come over to Mexia," said Limestone County Judge Richard Duncan.
Smith says all will benefit from tourist spending.
"Based on my prior experience, if we do it right, it will grow," said Smith.
Limestone County already has a website with brochures planned next, and Shields believes it will work.
"Yeah we hope so. I believe that's what it's all about I think," Shields said.
Because, like Smith, he believes if you have something people like, you should share it.