I often times think about going back to Crystal City to see if I can help to improve its economy. It is not that I have any particular education in that background but I do have a love for the city and what I think could be a good direction for it.
I detailed some of my ideas not long ago to a classmate but I wanted to share them here as well.
Crystal City at one time was considered the "Spinach Capital of the World". It is not that so much now even though they still do celebrate the Spinach Festival.
Crystal City is/was an agricultural town and called itself the Winter Garden area.
Crystal is also best known for two events that took place there, that of the Walkout in the late 60s early 70s, when there were some events that took place that caused a racial divide, and that of being the location of a WW2 Internment camp. While I know these events are a permanent part of Crystal, I think it is unnecessary and undesirable to continue to have the town define itself by those events when the area has so many other things that it could promote.
I see Crystal City as a potential "Winter Playground". If the infrastructure were in place, the right attractions built and a large effort put into beautifying the city it could be as much of a destination as Las Vegas and have so much more going for it in the way of natural resources than the desert of Nevada!
Crystal should not, in my opinion focus on one particular culture when it has so many things going for it. Crystal should focus on the ranchers and farmers, the Cowboy culture, the Mexican culture and the culture of its early inhabitants, the Coahuiltecans. It should also take advantage of the fact that it was part of a strip of land that was once known as the "Wild Horse Desert" where banditos and outlaws used to roam because the area was neither officially Mexico or U.S. for a time. If the Wild Horse Desert and the Coahuiltecan culture doesn't beg to be noticed and promoted, I don't know what does!
I think that the native resources could also be used to promote the economy. C.C. could become the largest producer of Mesquite Flour and breads and pastries made by the flour. They could also promote custom wood products made by the Mesquite tree. The prickly pear cactus also has many nutritional and delicious uses and should be used as well. I envision a western/Mexico themed restaurant that serves Mesquite Grilled steaks and prickly pear margaritas!
C.C. could also take a cue from its neighbor, Mexico and begin farming agave to produce Mescal. The fiber in the agave can also be used to make rope and what Cowboy/rancher would not want authentic agave rope?
The area surrounding Crystal also has the potential of attracting hunters to the area and I know that is promoted to some extent already.
As I say, I don't pretend to be an expert but I do think I am someone who knows the area and sees incredible potential for the town becoming a huge attraction if it promotes its culture and mild winters. It truly could be a "Winter Playground and Paradise".