"Olde El Paso": El Paso Heritage Tourism Attraction, diverse cultures and multicultural history

Edwin Ray Fowler, University of Texas at El Paso


The current project is a review and critical analysis of a new Magnet Heritage Tourism Attraction and Entertainment Complex planned for the City of El Paso, Texas. The initial plan was to build an authentic replica of “Olde El Paso” that would accurately depict the colorful and diverse cultural history of the region. As project planning progressed, emphasis was redirected from historical accuracy and multicultural aspects of “Olde El Paso” to a Hollywood stereotypic fantasy depiction of the American Southwest with a capitalistic approach. This led us to question why a Heritage Tourism Attraction was being proposed—under the guise of educational entertainment—without historical accuracy and without portraying the diverse cultures of the region and the significant contributions made by Indigenous and Mexicans. It also did not portray the transformation of the Southwest from the original agrarian society to a newer capitalist economy by European Americans. ^ This project focuses on the importance and responsibility for relevant historical accuracy in educational entertainment. Recommendations are made against allowing community leaders to appropriate the educational entertainment label for El Paso's Heritage Tourism Attraction without regard to a multicultural historical and economic perspective. ^

Subject Area

American Studies|Education, Social Sciences|Recreation

Recommended Citation

Fowler, Edwin Ray, ""Olde El Paso": El Paso Heritage Tourism Attraction, diverse cultures and multicultural history" (2004). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAIEP10781.