Southlake boasts multiple competitive advantages. It is centrally located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States, and is recognized as a visionary community with active, engaged citizens who are dedicated to high quality, excellence, and success. This reputation also extends to its economic development and tourism activities. However, as growth in the region continues, Southlake will undoubtedly experience increased competition for attracting and retaining businesses and tourists and, subsequently, the sales tax and other revenues they generate. Yet, the City can continue to position itself well into the future as a premier destination for businesses, tourists, shoppers, and professionals from within the region and well beyond.
To maintain its position in the region, TIP Strategies was hired in partnership with Cygnet Strategies to create an Economic Development and Tourism Plan for the City of Southlake. While the City had sustained a successful economic development department for more than a decade, the call to establish a tourism initiative for Southlake had only recently been introduced at the time of the planning process. As a result, the two plan elements varied considerably in their scope. Strategies associated with economic development focused on enhancing existing programs and pursuing new target opportunities. Conversely, needs for tourism planning required the creation of a new division and a detailed program of work. Though different in scope, both the tourism and economic development elements centered on leveraging Southlake’s assets—a strong reputation, location in the Metroplex, and quality-of-life amenities—to ensure the city’s continued success.