Lubbock, TX

Home to a Legend

Lubbock, a thriving city on the sunny plains of western Texas, has much to celebrate. When not busy attracting international visitors to the National Cowboy Symposium and Celebration or lauding its hometown Rock & Roll legend Buddy Holly, this large city celebrates its vibrant economy and bright future. Although Buddy Holly earned the city its title " Legendary Lubbock," today the city's culture, business, education, and recreation all contribute to its fame.

Every chance they have, Lubbock's residents flock to 3,000 acres of local parkland to enjoy year-round activities in a pleasant climate. Around the many lakes in town, folks enjoy hiking, golfing, picnicking, fishing, and simply relaxing in the great outdoors.

Even with such varied recreational opportunities and such a mild climate, Lubbock's great pride lies in its cultural and educational offerings. Stroll along the Walk of Fame that celebrates west Texas natives who have become celebrities. Next stop is a view of the beautiful Spanish architecture of the Texas Tech Cultural Center. Many people fall in love with the blend of Old West and Hispanic influences found here.

Lubbock is home to several well-known universities, among them Texas Tech University. Texas Tech's spacious, tree-lined campuses host departments that focus on the latest in semiconductor engineering.

Lubbock also attracts plenty of business to the region. A commercial center as well as a cultural and educational one, its bustling railway cargo terminals, international airport, and industrial parks create a dynamic distribution hub for state, national, and international trade. Texas Business ranks Lubbock as the " best managed medium-sized city" in Texas. Evidence abounds, from its innovative business practices to its accountability to Lubbock residents through weekly reports from city departments. Lubbock invites Internet users to e-mail any department of the city and receive a quick response. Whether for business or pleasure, newcomers will find " Legendary Lubbock" the place to be.

Lubbock, TX At-A-Glance

Population: 229,600

Avg. July high: 93

Avg. January low: 26

Avg. Annual Precipitation: 19

Avg. Annual Snowfall: 9

Closest Big City: 121 miles to Amarillo

Health Care: 11 major hospitals with 1,451 beds

Cost of Living: 11% below the national average

Housing Costs: 90,000

Climate

Be prepared for perpetually sunny days in Lubbock. Residents enjoy more than 255 days of sunshine per year. Rainfall is minimal.

Snowfall is light, and after a day or two residents don't even have to shovel. Although thunderstorms and accompanying high winds can pose a threat at certain times of the year, quick changes of weather usually mean sunny skies will soon reign again. While summer temperatures rise into the 90s, the semi-arid climate of the plains makes the air seem cooler. City lakes and parklands offer a revitalizing respite during summer months.

Cooler fall days herald a return to school and a time for long walks through changing foliage. Nighttime temperatures range mostly between 40 and 60 degrees, and daytime temperatures range from the 60s to the 80s. Winter daily highs remain a pleasant 50 degrees. Nights are naturally much colder, with lows in the 20s, and often bring light snowfall.

Look forward to spring with its promise of warm days and blue skies. The agricultural community can begin the new season as early as March, when daytime highs reach 65 degrees.

Art & Culture

Lubbock is more than the home of Rock & Roll legend Buddy Holly. It's also famous for its mild climate, vibrant economy, active arts scene, and quality education.

Lubbock's many festivals testify to the area's pride and enthusiasm in its history, culture, and legendary music. Cork and Fork Affair is a two-month feast with Texas wines and mouth watering dishes. Vintners gather for wine tasting and wine making discussions, and the public is invited to participate in the seminars and the sampling of spirits.

In late April, it's time for the arts to shine with the Lubbock Arts Festival.

Drama is the summer theme, so get ready to boo the villain and applaud the hero in Melodrama in the Park. God's Country, a Rio Blanco Canyon musical prairie drama, is held at the beginning of August.

The Buddy Holly Festival in September attracts thousands to the Depot District, where Lubbock's own Rock & Roll son is the center of the tribute. Wrap up the season with Lights on Broadway. This Lubbock tradition begins with the lighting of Texas Tech campus and is followed by Broadway through the downtown area and the Christmas Parade.

The diversity of festivals is matched by the city's year-round attractions. The McLaughlin Collection at the Museum of Texas Tech University provides hours of browsing pleasure with its sculptures, European paintings, Southwestern landscapes, and bronzes. Stroll through the Fine Arts Center's rotating exhibits by local, regional, and national artists.

The performing arts are generously supported, and residents enjoy ballet, symphony, professional theater, and dance. A late supper or a steaming cappuccino at one of the city's many fine restaurants is fine way to top off the evening.

City Recreation

Lubbock happily caters to the recreational needs of its citizens. Lubbock hosts a complete range of venues for the full gamut of sports. Golfers have the choice of more than a half-dozen courses on which to practice their swing. With 75 public tennis courts, there's practically no waiting time.

People who prefer watching sports will also find a plethora of events to attend.

The Burl Huffman Sports Complex hosts more than a dozen NCAA sports, and its indoor and outdoor facilities make a great place to cheer on a favorite team. Close to a half-dozen public pools house local and regional swim meets and provide a wonderful place to cool off during hot summer days.

Home to the traditional Western rancher, it's not surprising that this region of Texas host plenty of spring rodeos. A leisurely walk along the self-guided trails at the Ranching Heritage Center offers a pleasant combination of outdoor activity and area history. This open-air museum displays three dozen restored ranch structures, which bring visitors a good sampling of Western styles.

This region gave birth to the Texas wine industry, and fine area wineries invite residents to picnic on the grounds, sip a glass of wine, and relax after a long day.

Although Lubbock is considered semiarid, 18 city lakes serve as refreshing havens in every season. They also feature picnic areas, pavilions, playgrounds, and floral gardens. Also within the city limits, Mackenzie State Park hosts picnic areas, a golf course, swimming areas, and an amusement park.

Kids have a whale of a time at Buffalo Springs Lake, southeast of Lubbock. Pitch a tent for the weekend, then explore the nature trails or visit the volleyball courts.

Locals can even take the plunge down some water slides or head to any one of numerous marina's . Drop the boat off at one of many ramps and fire up the motor for a ride or some water skiing. As the day ends, cast a fishing line into the water and sit back to savor a brilliant sunset.

Children will enjoy a hands-on session at the Science Spectrum, where they can experiment with science and technology.

Afterwards, the whole family can watch colorful fish in the aquarium. Three country clubs round out the plentiful choices for Lubbock's indoor and outdoor recreational opportunities.

Education

The self-guided trails at the Ranching Heritage Center are a pleasant study in area history. The open-air museum displays 35 restored ranch structures.

There are few cities in Texas with a population under 200,000 that can boast as great a variety of outstanding post-secondary schools. Lubbock is home to one community college and three universities that offer four-year programs. Texas Tech University was cited among the 125 top institutions of higher learning in U.S. News and World Report ‘s listing of America's best colleges. More kudos have been given in response to its status as the only multipurpose university in Texas offering a law school, medical school, engineering school, and a teaching hospital, plus all the other traditional courses.

Wayland Baptist University is the oldest university in this region of Texas and focuses on the liberal arts. Its diligence in attracting a varied student population landed it in the top ten for cultural diversity in an America's Best Colleges report. Rounding out the selection is Lubbock Christian University, a private institution. Its fine division of biblical studies attracts students from all over Texas. South Plains College offers residents, business and industry the opportunity to meet the challenges of the 21st century with a contemporary curriculum.

The city supports almost 60 public schools and several private institutions for the elementary and secondary grades.

These include three special program schools and one advanced technology center, making for a plentiful selection in education for the residents of Lubbock.

Housing & Cost of Living

Lubbock offers a quality lifestyle that most people can afford. The cost of living is 14% below the national average, the median price for a single family home is one-third less than the national median price, and child care is inexpensive.

Residents of Lubbock enjoy a cost of living that is about 14% below the national average. Utility expenses, housing expenses, and child care costs all run below the national average.

In fact, accredited center-based child care prices in the Texas Panhandle are some of the lowest in the country. Parents will pay less than $5,000 for care for children of all ages.

Housing prices range widely, but the median price of $133,000 falls well below national average prices.

Newcomers can select from a range of sizes and architectural styles, including pricier homes with plenty of acreage. Condo units are increasing in popularity as the area attracts retirees, and those who choose to rent will find the average two-bedroom apartment costs just about $450 a month.

Crime & Safety

Lubbock's crime rate is significantly higher than the national average. On the bright side, 90% of incidents are non-violent, and the overall crime rate has fallen in recent years. Because the majority of the crimes here are petty thefts, Lubbock's dedicated police department concentrates on crime prevention. The Crime Prevention Unit presents forums to teach citizens how to avoid becoming victims.

The Bicycle Patrol Unit has been especially popular and effective, because neighborhoods get to know the police and officers can move about inconspicuously. This has led to many drug-related convictions and prevention of other crimes. A Harley Davidson Motorcycle Unit is adept at enforcing traffic laws.

Earning a Living

This unpredictable West Texas town has had a symphony orchestra since 1949...

Lubbock's unemployment rate falls well below the national average rate, and it's job growth rate is three times the national average. The diversity of its labor force accounts for part of its enviable economic position. Expect competitive wages in all employment sectors including manufacturing, services, construction, government, and the retail trades. The city's largest employer is the health care industry, which employs about 9,000 people. Texas Tech University is also a major employer for the region, registering about 3,000 employees.

Many companies are following the lead of White Swan and establishing Lubbock as their distribution center. Lubbock lies in the middle of one of the most fertile agricultural regions of Texas. It has become a major trading, distribution, manufacturing, and exporting center for agricultural goods and commodities. Cotton, grain, and cattle are especially prevalent.

A host of food manufacturers call Lubbock home, including Frito Lay, Mrs.

Bairds Bakeries, Coca-Cola Bottling Co., and Bell Dairy Products. Among companies with corporate headquarters in Lubbock are United Supermarkets, Texas- New Mexico-Oklahoma Coaches Inc., and NTS Communications.

A vibrant and talented work force meets the changing demands of Lubbock's economy.

Health care and social assistance is the largest employing industry, and the services sector employs more than onequarter of residents. Plenty of positions are available for registered nurses, childcare workers, and salespeople.

Health Care

People looking for excellent health care will find it in Lubbock. The city is home to ten hospitals that provide services to local residents and to many counties of West Texas and eastern New Mexico. As a major medical center, Lubbock's hospitals provide every possible treatment.

Covenant Medical Center has the largest presence with two hospitals in town.

University Medical Center provides a few hundred beds, and Highland Medical Center contributes another hundred.

Adding to the already large health care options are several specialty hospitals including a medium-sized Children's Hospital and the small Sunrise Canyon Hospital, which specializes in mental health care. Senior citizens also have access to plenty of accredited nursing care at the city's more than two dozen facilities.

These offer the full gamut of care, from independent living services to more hands-on Alzheimer's care.