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Madisonville Welcomes New Director of Convention and Tourism

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Madisonville, a small city of nearly 4,200 people, has a new person in town. Linda Giffen is the Director of Convention and Tourism.

Giffen used to work for the city of Bryan, where she helped manage the Palace Theater and Lake Bryan. Now, her job is to showcase what some call, the "gateway to Bryan/College Station."

"Everyone has to pass through here to get somewhere, so we want to focus on the opportunities which they have here, which are many and the friendly people, and make people not just stop, but visit more often," said Giffen.

Giffen said Madisonville tourism is at an acceptable level, but could use more visitors. One of her main focuses is Downtown, which she believes mirrors Downtown Bryan. Giffen says empty buildings on the square need tenants, but before any change, she plans to meet with the Downtown Merchants Association.

"This is a very old city so they're set in their ways and there's new businesses and there's the old and we're going to try to merge all of those and come up with some ideas on what they want and do what we can for them," said Giffen.

Ken Martin, owner of Walker Pharmacy believes there's always room for improvement.

"Our side of the square particularly has two new shops and they really help with traffic for this side. I think she can really bring in some interesting Antique type places," said Martin.

Giffen is only a few days into the job, but she said with events like the Mushroom Festival and places like the Woodbine Hotel, she has a lot to work with.