SAN ANGELO, Texas — True West Magazine named San Angelo as the number one True Western town in the United States.
Before 2019, San Angelo was non-existent on the magazine's list. Now, the town has come in at either number one or number two on the list for the last four years, beating out towns such as Durango, Colorado; Tombstone, Arizona; and Casper, Wyoming.
San Angelo Mayor Brenda Gunter said the town’s recognition is long overdue, but is glad it finally came.
“San Angelo exists today because of Fort Concho and because of its western heritage. I know it’s a cliché but you have to protect your history to ensure that no one ever forgets it,” Gunter said at a press conference Monday.
Some historic businesses and traditions that have stood the test of time include M.L. Leddy's of San Angelo and the San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo, which will be celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.
In 1867, San Angelo created Fort Concho National Historic Landmark, which has deep roots in the western culture. Fort Concho has honored its history, preserving 23 of the garrison buildings and keeping its Western traditions alive.
With this number one spot, city officials are expecting people around the globe to visit San Angelo and experience the historical western culture.
“It’s great to see tourism recognized as a major industry and something worth promoting. It wasn’t always this back in the day but it is now. The mayor and council is supportive, the chamber is supportive, and the community is supportive. We’re rolling and we’re not stopping,” Fort Concho Site Manager Bob Bluthardt said.
Fort Concho staff will be working with tourism partners to bring thousands of Western heritage fans to the community with events, programs and attractions throughout the year.