TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A lot has changed since Tyler was founded in 1846.

The city of Tyler is growing and expanding, with more activities, businesses and places to stay.

“Tyler is booming and it’s a blessing, especially after the last couple of years, two and a half years that we’ve gone through,” said Susan Travis, Visit Tyler’s VP of Tourism/Servicing.

Even more changes are coming to the Rose City. Visit Tyler says downtown is going to look completely different in just a few years.

“I tell people if you left for five years and came back, you’re not going to recognize the place. So it’s very, it’s something that we have been wanting to do for a long time,” said Garret Hope, the downtown specialist for City of Tyler.

Visit Tyler says it’s working with a company to design downtown Tyler in a way that’s more open and pedestrian friendly. They said they are listening to what East Texans want to see and are making it happen.

“We did put out a survey for a while and one of the questions was, ‘In 100 years, what do you want to see in Downtown Tyler?’ So, we got a lot of good feedback from that,” added Hope.

Tylerites responded wanting more nightlife, music, restaurants, bars and more.

“We’re taking what the public said and kind of incorporating that,” said Hope.

Some new additions to the downtown area are already open like the Thomas Hotel, which opened its doors in August 2022. It’s an eight-room boutique hotel located next to Liberty Hall.

“It’s gonna be great for people that are really wanting to stay in the downtown area and we just haven’t had that really before,” said Travis.

It’s not just downtown that’s changing. Caldwell Zoo is also working on a complete remodel of their South American section.

New restaurants are opening as well, like Bubbas 33 coming to the French quarter shopping center.

“I just am so excited about the growth and just seeing people come here from all over,” added Travis.

The goal is to have something for everyone in this family friendly community.

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