Valley Biz Blog: Cinnabon inches closer to the RGV

The Eagle Ford Shale oil boom is bringing a lot of new businesses to deep South Texas.

New hotels, restaurants, stores and big city chains are coming to small towns on rural highways.

One big city chain is coming to Tilden, a tiny town of 450 souls along Highway 16.

The rural road connects San Antonio to Zapata and is one of the most important highways in Texas for the new wave of oil and gas drilling.

Tilden recently got a new motel but construction crews are currently working on building a $4 million dollar Pilot Travel Center.

The super gas station will include dozens of gas pumps for cars and 18-wheelers but also have a Subway and a Cinnabon.

The pastry chain has been on the Rio Grande Valley's wish list for years but is moving ever closer.

There are two Cinnabons in Corpus Christi and one at a Pilot Travel Center just outside Laredo in Cotulla.

McMullen County Judge James E. Teal told Action 4 News that the Pilot Travel Center is welcome addition to Tilden.

Teal said the mega gas station will ease the wear and tear that 18-wheelers cause at other gas stations and businesses.

The new shopping center is expected to be open by August and generate a few dozen jobs.

Teal said McMullen County only has 3 percent unemployment, one of the lowest levels in the Lone Star State thanks to the oil boom.

Neither Tilden nor McMullen County have local sales taxes, but Teal said the county has seen a dramatic increase in tax revenue from property values and mineral rights.

Teal said the revenue is being used to improve roads, build sewage lines and make other improvements.

With some 2,500 oil field workers in the area at any given time, Teal said he and other county leaders are approached on weekly basis by new business ventures.

Among the new projects are "man camps" that provide housing for oil field workers but also offer entertainment.

As Tilden continues to boom, the Valley will continue to wait to get its first Cinnabon.