HGTV Dream Home Comes To East Texas - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

03/19/04 - Lake Tyler

HGTV Dream Home Comes To East Texas

If there was any question about Tyler being on the map, it will be for sure now. That's because for the next year, Tyler will be in the national and international spot light. HGTV has chosen Tyler as the location to build its next Dream Home. The popular home and garden cable network will become part of the East Texas community as they share the story with the rest of the world.

Today, HGTV's Jack Thomasson came to town to make the official announcement "Location here on Lake Tyler was one that really surprised me and took my breath away." Thomasson first discovered Tyler, Texas last fall as a potential site for the cable network's 2005 Dream Home.

He was impressed with a plot of land nestled on the northeastern shore of The Reserve at Lake Tyler, formerly known as Reunion Harbor. Out of 10,000 locations nationwide, HGTV decided East Texas was the perfect location. "That was for a variety of reasons and mostly being the dreamy quality that Tyler has starting maybe with the people. We want to make sure we put the Dream Home in a place where people who win the house know that they can go and feel at home and Tyler offers that," said Thomasson.

Tyler Mayor Joey Seeber adds, "I think they recognized what many of us in Tyler have known for so long that it is a beautiful place with great people and so we're fortunate they decided to come here."

Since 1997, HGTV has given away each year a $1 million fully furnished luxury home with a brand new GM car parked in the garage. The prize package for Tyler's dream home will also be in excess of $1 million.

As this home is built over the next year, people around the world will be able to go on-line and follow its progress. Progress monitored by a camera running 24 hours a day permanently mounted about a 120 feet from where the house will stand.

An artists rendering shows what the home will look like. The 4100 square foot home features a large, Texas style living, dining and cooking area. Ample porches are situated on the lake side of the home as well as the entry.

Mark Mahaffey and his son, Bill, will build the 2005 Dream Home. "We want to celebrate Texas. We want to celebrate materials, natural materials and we have all different kinds of trees and woods that can be used in this house and everything we put into this house will be Texas born and raised."

While this will bring a lot of attention to East Texas over the next year, it will also be a boost to the local economy. Tom Mullins with Tyler Economic Development Council says, "It could be a real big hit because when we first heard about this I really didn't know a lot about it. We found out that millions of people watch this and follow this and with our proximity to Dallas and Shreveport and Houston you're going to see a lot of day visitors and people from other states too."

Visitors will be treated with the same Texas hospitality that won HGTV over. "You're all friends and I know you're becoming friends to me too and that's very important and we look forward to a year from now bringing a new friend to your community which will be the person who has won this house," says Thomasson.

Although only one person will win the 2005 Dream Home, millions of people will be able to take away ideas and inspiration from this Tyler home, helping them to turn their house into a dream home of their own.

Last year, 36-million people entered to win HGTV's Dream Home. The contest for the Tyler home begins January 1st and runs through February 17th of 2005. You can enter by mail or online. The winner will be announced around the end of February.

If you want to find out more about this contest, go back to our home page and click on "know more on seven", you'll find a link there called HG-TV dream home.

Gillian Sheridan, reporting.

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