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University of Texas at Austin

Revitalized El Paso ready to show off for papal tourists

No longer the desolate space it was a few years ago, downtown El Paso is ripe with new hotels, bars, restaurants — and bulldozers that herald the planned construction of a streetcar, a children's museum, a Mexican-American cultural center and new mixed-used buildings.

The far West Texas city is ready to shed its long-held reputation as a center of illegal immigration and show off its revitalized streets to the tens of thousands of tourists hoping to get a glimpse of Pope Francis, who will cap a five-day visit to Mexico on Feb. 17 in neighboring Ciudad Juárez with a Mass in a large field near the border that many will be able to see from downtown.

El Paso's...

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