The Secret Behind Grapevine’s Success

The Secret Behind Grapevine’s Success Main Photo

29 Apr 2022


With the new year, Grapevine Economic Development launched a new podcast: Growing Grapevine. The podcast works in tandem with the newsletter to clarify policies and practices, turn unsung heroes into recognizable faces, and celebrate the things that make Grapevine, Texas, unique. Grapevine has no shortage of innovators, history, and first-to-market attractions that deserve to be celebrated . . . and studied.

Starting in May, Growing Grapevine will kick off a six-part series exploring Grapevine’s emergence as a premier destination. Grapevine is now known as The Christmas Capital of Texas and is a destination for millions of visitors per year — yes, millions — but it wasn’t always that way. Grapevine’s success in the Hospitality, Entertainment, and Retail sectors is a result of focused planning and the dedication of stakeholders. 

“When I started [on City Council in 1998], we were just at the very, very beginning of all of the retail development. The mall was not here yet; the mall was just about to open . . . we were not the ‘Heart of Tourism for North Texas’ like we are today,” said Darlene Freed, Grapevine Mayor Pro Tem.

Grapevine Hospitality Sector’s ‘Overnight Success’

“Our overnight success only took about eleven years, actually . . . it was a slow progression,” said PW McCallum, Director, Grapevine Convention and Visitor's Bureau. “It wasn't the magic flash that people think comes with things. [City Council] saw that Hospitality is something that can be both good for our citizens and it can be good for the revenue stream for the community.” 

In Growing Grapevine’s May Edition of the six-part miniseries delving into Grapevine’s most explosive decades of growth, your host, Steven Jones, gets into the fundamentals of Grapevine’s elevation from a small North Texas City into a recognizable destination for tourism, retail, and entertainment. The legend goes that the Gaylord Texan Hotel opened and the industry took off overnight, but as any economic developer can tell you, that’s only the soundbite version of the story. Listen to discover the strategy, planning, targeted marketing, and execution that went into creating that success.

“We have consistently worked toward a community vision that took advantage of travel — whether it’s corporate or leisure — and have incorporated into our community in a more robust way than most the idea that visitors are good; that we want as many of them as we can get and can handle,” said Bruno Rumbelow, Grapevine City Manager. “And the things that give you the ability to attract those visitors is something that’s very well supported here.”

“There’s a momentum that I think has carried us for the last twenty-five years that I think is important to acknowledge,” said Rumbelow. “This community had that momentum then, and our responsibility today is the same: to keep that going and make sure that we keep working on the things that make sense and that add to the quality of life here.” 

“That built Grapevine up from a financial standpoint . . . growth can be good if it’s managed well and if residents see a real benefit to them and the quality of their life as a result of it,” continued Rumbelow. “People want to live in a place that’s active and vital and vibrant, and I think that the fun thing about the last twenty or twenty-five years here is that, with the opening of every sort of new thing, not only did it increase the revenue base and our ability to afford the things that our residents like, but it also increased the family atmosphere of things to do, things to go see, and things to be proud of in our town. Not only do the people who live here benefit from the fact that all of these amenities are here, but I think they’re proud of the fact that they’re here.” 

How to Subscribe to Growing Grapevine

The Growing Grapevine podcast can be found on your favorite podcast apps such as Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, and Amazon Music. You can also check out the latest episode here

Growing Grapevine is presented by the City of Grapevine Economic Development Department. If you enjoy our podcast, you can help us spread the word by sharing a link from your favorite podcast app. Reviews and referrals are immensely helpful, too; please take a minute to leave a rating and a short comment to let everyone know why you like the show.  Please contact Grapevine Economic Development for assistance with your business needs. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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