Let’s go inside Pilot Point, Texas. Where is Pilot Point? What should you know about Pilot Point? Rudy Janecka, the Director of Retail Services at Champions DFW co-hosted with Ron Taylor on this edition of the Champions DFW radio show and podcast. They welcomed Amanda Davenport to the show. She’s the Director of Economic Development with the City of Pilot Point.
Let’s go further inside Pilot Point with an excerpt of their conversation. Then, listen to a free download of the podcast.
Rudy Janecka: Jim and I have recently had the opportunity to branch out and follow up on a network lead that Amanda and Jim created back in a networking event a few years ago. Amanda brought us up recently to do an introduction to the City of Pilot Point. We’re glad to have you. Can you give us just a little bit of information about your background and how you got to Pilot Point? Take us inside Pilot Point.
Amanda Davenport: I got my undergraduate degree at Murray State University and then I moved back to North Texas to get my graduate degree at Texas Woman’s University in 2012. And while I was going to grad school, I started working for Commissioner Coleman, who is a county commissioner and then over the Pilot Point precinct. And so, working with Commissioner Coleman and really learning a lot about government functions and how economic development partners with city and how much development is coming to the area, once I graduated I started looking for a different position and that’s where I found Pilot Point and i love it. I think economic development is so fun. I love having this small town and helping it grow and really find it’s identity, so that we can stand out in the North Texas Metroplex while all the growth is occurring here.
I actually grew up in Denton, so it has a small town feel. I love Denton, I think it’s so fun. I think a lot of the cultural things that are going on in Denton and a lot of, kind of, the entrepreneurial spirit that’s in Denton, I see that in Pilot Point. Pilot Point is such a fun small town. I love small towns. Murray, Kentucky, where I went to college is very small. So, I just like that way of life and it’s just…you know everyone and everyone is very friendly and they want to help you out and you just…you get to work with your neighbors and you know the impact that you have on a day-to-day basis.
Ron Taylor: There’s something about a small town. I’m from a small town as well and it’s just, you know, you feel like you’re going home. It’s a true sense of home and there’s just something very tight knit about a great small town community, so about that…
Rudy: Yeah. And my mom actually grew up in Pilot Point and we spent a little bit of time there in my childhood years but not a lot but glad to go back today. So, Amanda, take us inside Pilot Point demographics.
Amanda: Well, Pilot Point is a really great town. We have a diverse network of people that are there. A lot of people that we’re seeing aren’t from Pilot Point but are starting to move into and visit Pilot Point. We have all different types of…a lot of executives live in kind of our ETJ area because we have so many ranch ads and horse farms and it’s on the lake. The National Bass Tournament was just held at Pilot Point on lake Ray Roberts about three weeks ago, so we were excited to have that. We have a lot of tourism and area attractions, kind of, around Pilot Point. Texas Tulips- which is the only tulip farm in Texas where you can go and pick your own tulips- operates in March and April in Pilot Point. The owners actually moved from the Netherlands to Pilot Point because of the show Dallas, that they loved.
They found us because we have the right soil for them, so… We also have many horse farms in the area and national, as well as world champion international, horses, horse trainers, and riders, all in our area. And we have Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch, which draws in about 100,000 guests per year. And then we have Western Son Distillery and soon to be, Whistle Post Brewery operating in the city, so we’re very excited to have them.
Ron: Rudy, I’m missing out. I need to go to Pilot Point to at least do some fishing and then, you know, go from there.
Rudy: It’s definitely a great small town feel, Ron, with a lot of growth opportunities and very close to Dallas/Fort Worth so… The Sharkarosa, is that the place that you can go have lunch with the bears?
Amanda: You can go eat lunch with the bears, yes. They have a great restaurant and the bears eat lunch next to you.
Ron: The bears?
Amanda: The bears, yes. Two.
Ron: Now, you’ve got to expand just for a moment. You’re not talking about the football team? You’re talking about bears?
Amanda: No, actual bears. So, Scott Edwards, who runs Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch, does…it’s a lot of animal rescue and rehabilitation and animals that cannot be rehabilitated, he keeps on the property and cares for them and so, he has two bears and they like to eat lunch next to people. And they have great lunch, fruit and vegetables, all kinds of meat, like their salads are looking really good.
Rudy: Can you expand a little bit on the restaurants and things like that, inside Pilot Point?
Amanda: Sure. We have a lot of local restaurants in Pilot Point. One of the best is Magnolia Station and it operates out of an old 1930’s gas station that they have redeveloped into great outdoor seating. Restaurant people come all over to come try Magnolia Station. It’s kind of a little gem that you don’t really know about unless you do and we have several other Mexican restaurants and a really great Italian restaurant called Nick’s. Pilot Point is just a fun place to be.
Rudy: And could you expand a little bit more on the distillery and the brewery? You were telling me that the brewery is about to have a grand opening. So, you want to give them a little plug?
Amanda: Well, I would love to. So, Western Son Distillery, they make vodka and whiskey in Pilot Point and they have been in operation for about a year. They are another reason to visit Pilot Point. They moved to Pilot Point in January, 2015 and then they opened up in May. They have a summer concert series and they’re getting food in. You can go and take a tour of the distillery or you can go in and try some of their many drinks. They are having a grand opening for their brewery on June 25th, where they will have food trucks and live music and tours and corn-hole tournaments and it’s going to be a really fun place to be and if you get too hot, you can head on over to Lake Ray Roberts.