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New Juarez tourism information center set up in El Paso

By: Gina Benitez
EL PASO, Texas -- Once considered the most dangerous city in the world, officials on both sides of the border are looking to bring tourism back to our sister city.

Today, the Juarez tourism industry took a huge step to make that happen.

"There wasn't any way for people on this side of the river to get information on what there was to do and what was going on across the river so I think it's a wonderful program to have," said Luc Wells, president of Saddleblanket Co.

A brand-new Juarez visitors information center set up shop in El Paso Saturday.

It's located inside the Saddleblanket Co. on Gateway East.

"The executive director of special projects for Juarez, Jose Ramos, came to us with the idea and we loved it off the get-go because we think that the future and the fortunes of all of us here on the border are linked together," Wells said.

Tourism officials on both sides of the border are working to once again make our sister city a prime tourist destination.

"We believe it is time for us to promote Juarez because things have changed so much everywhere in Juarez," said Demetrio Sotomayor, director of tourism of Chihuahua.

The center will feature all the attractions Juarez has to offer and even promote special events going on there.

"The nightlife is better than ever. The food, the restaurants, hotels, industry, the shopping centers," Sotomayor said.

Some El Pasoans we spoke with believe the center is a smart idea but it doesn't mean they'll be heading south of the border anytime soon.

"It's fine if you want to go over there. I'm not going to go over there anymore," said Claudia Wood, a northeast El Paso resident.

Despite hesitation from some, those who've invested in the project are hopeful.

"I-10 has over 40 million drivers in a year and Saddleblanket is advertised all over so we think that it's going to be a lot of help," Sotomayor said.

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