FRITCH, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the city of Fritch are hoping that its recent designation of being a Film Friendly Texas city epitomizes the phrase “A Rising Tide Raises All Ships;” a new industry being welcome within the city limits ultimately boosting the town’s economy.

According to a news release from the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released Thursday, the city of Fritch recently completed the multi-step training and certification process to be named a Film Friendly Texas city. Fritch is joining more than 160 towns throughout the state, including Amarillo, Canadian, Childress, Muleshoe, Plainview and Shamrock, in earning this designation.

“I congratulate the City of Fritch on earning the Film Friendly Texas designation and joining more than 160 other Texas communities who have received this recognition,” Abbott said in the release. “The Lone Star State is brimming with promise, and I look forward to continuing to work alongside all of our communities to ensure they have the knowledge and tools needed to succeed. Through the Film Friendly Texas training and certification process, communities large and small are readied to help match local businesses with production-related needs, creating jobs for Texas-based crew members and local residents, as well as spurring on-site spending at local small businesses. I am proud of all the Texas Film Commission has accomplished in helping communities like Fritch market their unique appeal and support local job creation through media production.”

Drew Brassfield, the city manager for the city of Fritch, said this opportunity stemmed from research city officials conducted, aimed at finding ways to boost the city’s economy. Officials also saw the opportunity to show off both the Lake Meredith National Recreation Area as well as the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument.

“I think in the research that we’ve done, we discovered that we’ve got a lot of hidden gems in the Texas Panhandle. There’s not a lot of knowledge as far as that industry goes,” Brassfield said. “This was an opportunity for us to highlight that and have a little bit of bragging rights on the fact that we do have such unique terrain, the people are very friendly, very welcoming. It’s just an opportunity to capitalize on this economic boom that we are seeing statewide.”

Brassfield said three requirements had to be passed to be considered for this designation. The city sent two representatives to the training through the Texas Film Commission and sent photos of some of the city’s landmarks to the commission. After that training, the city’s council also had to pass some guidelines to film inside the city limits, including permit requirements, guidelines on use of city-owned real estate as well as hours of filming.

This designation gives the opportunity for there to be an “economic boost” in Fritch, Brassfield said, with the potential of seeing a sales tax increase with people staying in local hotels, shopping in local stores and eating in local restaurants if productions come to the town. Film crews also have other opportunities for economic impact, including catering, construction, transportation and individuals being hired as extras for projects.

Fritch Mayor Billy Robbins said that economic impact could extend past the initial filming of the project, especially if the project has a lot of viewers, whether on the small screen or the big screen.

“You know, blockbuster movie comes through and it’s partly filmed in our city. We can capitalize on the future because then, it can be the home of where blockbuster movie was made,” Robbins said. “You would get some tourists and some extra things after the fact.”

Overall, Robbins said that this is a great opportunity for the community, matching some of the recent television shows that have been filmed throughout the Texas Panhandle region.

“If you’re familiar with some of the recent shows that have been out recently, one of them being the Yellowstone series, and part of those were filmed between Borger and Panhandle on the 6666 ranch,” Robbins said. “We’re pretty close to Borger and we had a lot of the set people coming into town and purchasing things and staying at hotels and things like that. That is really good for the economy.”

Ultimately, this designation means a lot to Brassfield, celebrating the fact that the state of Texas chose to recognize Fritch in this fashion, he said.

“At the local level, it always means a lot to us that we have the support of our state legislators, the governor’s office, to know that they recognize that these smaller cities are the bread and butter of the state,” Brassfield said. “It’s not always just the metro areas. We appreciate the Governor’s policies on being open to new opportunities to help keep the economy going. We are proud to partner with them.”

By going through this process, Brassfield said he looks at Fritch differently than he did before. By going through this process of Fritch becoming a Film Friendly Texas city, he looks at the city and its landmarks in a new way.

“I’ve lived in the Texas Panhandle my whole life and it never occurred to me to say ‘hey, let’s look at this through the eyes of a film producer, a filmmaker, and see the beauty that’s here,'” he said. “I think, a lot of times, we take that kind of stuff for granted because we live here. We see it day in and day out.”

Both Brassfield and Robbins believe this gives Fritch the opportunity to be in the spotlight, being able to show off the unique nature of the small town. Robbins stressed that the designation itself is a huge win for the town as a whole.

“I’m biased to Fritch. I grew up there, lived there my entire life,” Robbins said. “It’s a great town. I mean, the people are great. It’s just a really good community. But for those that are looking to come make a film, you know, it’s beautiful.”

According to the release, cities that are designated as Film Friendly Texas communities receive ongoing training and guidance from the Texas Film Commission on media industry standards, best practices and how to effectively accommodate on-location filming activity in their community. For more information about other Film Friendly Texas communities, visit its website.