The Greater Irving - Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce launched a new image campaign with the help of ESPN. "One Irving" focuses on spreading positive images of the city in an effort to draw more business.
Pet Dits, Vice President and General Manager of ESPN Dallas, said he's enjoyed working at their Las Colinas location for the past three years. "We love the area. We believe in it. We believe that this is a great place to do business. And we think it just makes sense to let other people know about that and other businesses know that," he said.
Beth Bowman, Chief Development Officer at the Chamber, said the sports broadcasting company's participation is worth more than $150,000. "ESPN has, via trade agreement, has allowed us the opportunity to get the Irving highlights on their airwaves," Bowman said.
Examples of recent company re-locations include Terminal Reality, a video game company, which moved its headquarters from Lewisville to Irving in June 2011.
"The biggest reason was that we could get a really nice creative building that would help the creativity of our employees and also be competitive for lease rates," said President and Technical Director Mark Randel.
Randel also said the company, founded in 1994, began with a handful of people and has grown to 66 full-time employees. Their resume includes creating games for Ghostbusters, Star Wars, and most currently Walking Dead. "As video games have become mainstream, we've really grown in response to people's demand for them," he said.
The Chamber has focused on recruiting gaming companies as well as film businesses. The Studios at Las Colinas celebrated Glenn Beck's relocation earlier this year. Still, President Justin Muller said a lot of space is still available for future productions.
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"We still have about 100,000 square feet of undeveloped raw warehouse space that we identified and are looking into redeveloping that space. It used to be a film lab," he said.
Muller says a large episodic TV show like Prison Break spent about $1.5 million a week, employing about 300 people and using a number of city services.