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Vote on new Gilley's venue in La Porte passes; will go before city council

LA PORTE, Texas – At a planning and zoning meeting Thursday night in La Porte, a contractor's plea to start building on a 20-acre lot was heard as a vote on the development passed.

There were four yes votes, three no votes and two people abstained.

The issue will next be scheduled to go before city council on its Jan. 11 agenda.

The contractor is envisioning a family-style entertainment center, which would also revive the bar Gilley's.

Made famous by John Travolta in the movie "Urban Cowboy," the honky-tonk dance hall Gilley's was in Pasadena for almost 20 years before a fire destroyed the local landmark.

Gilley's locations are still up and running in Las Vegas, Oklahoma and Dallas, but some Texans want it back in our area.

Real estate developer David Miles wants to use Highway 146, north of Wharton Weems Blvd. in La Porte, as an entertainment center with laser tag, bumper cars, a hotel and a bar named Gilley's.

"They are so pro-town center with Gilley's as the anchor, especially being a family entertainment center," Miles said about the commissioners and school district.

The plot of land is just north of an elementary school.

Mickey Gilley himself told La Porte planners he would like to see the establishment come back, not as a honky tonk, but as something that would make the community proud.

"The Gilley Family Entertainment Center is approximately 50,000 square foot, give or take, and it will have the memorabilia as you enter from the past but blend in with a performance center," Miles said.

Miles said part of the memorabilia might include the original mechanical bull from Gilley's.

If city council approves the development and everything goes in the contractor's favor, Gilley's could be open by Spring 2017.