Lake Livingston, one of the largest lakes in the State of Texas, was completed in 1973 and is located 15 miles west of Livingston on U.S. Highway 190. Lake Livingston, which covers approximately 90,000 surface acres, is an important tourist attraction and an economic asset to the City. A wide range of public and commercial recreation facilities, including full-service marinas, camping and motel accommodations are located along the shoreline.
Tourism / Trade Days
In an effort to increase tourism in the area, the City constructed facilities, staffs and operates a monthly Trade Days event at Pedigo Park where about 200 vendors sell a variety of crafts, antiques, and collectible items. This event, which began in May, 1999, has been extremely successful in attracting new visitors to the area. Local motels and restaurants report significant increases in their business on Trade Days weekends. Additionally, several new antique malls and specialty shops have opened in the downtown business district in connection with the Trade Days event and there has been a renewed interest in the remodeling and renovation of buildings in the downtown business district.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Over the past ten (10) years, Livingston has experienced a diversification of the economic base with the construction by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice of a 2,850 bed maximum-security prison unit five miles outside Livingston. The unit employs approximately 835 people with an annual payroll of close to $20,000,000. Livingston has also seen construction of the IAH Detention Facility, which employs approximately 229 people.
Health Care Industry Businesses
Additionally, much new growth in the region has focused on the health-care industry as well as retiree and senior-care related industry and small businesses. With a state-of-the-art hospital located on the U. S 59 Highway Bypass, development of numerous new medical office buildings, nursing homes, assisted living and independent living retirement facilities, and an active-adult over-55 residential subdivision, Livingston will continue to experience a growing senior population in the area.
Other Important Businesses
Lumbering, ranching and the production of gas and oil continue to be important economically to the City.