Amarillo is the 12th-largest city in the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Potter County. A portion of the city, the biggest in the Texas Panhandle, extends into Randall County. The population was 173,627 at the 2000 census. The amarillo metropolitan area, moreover, has an estimated population of 236,113 in four counties. By 2010 The city's population is expected to be 200,000.
Amarillo was originally named Oneida and it is situated in the Llano Estacado region. The availability of the railroad and freight service provided by the Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad contributed the city's growth as a cattle marketing center in the late 19th century. amarillo is the regional economic center for the Texas Panhandle as well as Eastern New Mexico and the Oklahoma Panhandle.
The city was once the self-proclaimed "Helium Capital of the World" for having one of the country's most productive helium fields. The city is also known as "The Yellow Rose of Texas" (as the city takes its name from the Spanish word for yellow). Also crowned "Beef City" by amarillo group "Lockjaw" for the city's growth as a cattle marketing center in the late 19th century.. and former beef industry IBP now owned by Tyson Foods and most recently "Rotor City, USA" for its V-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft assembly plant. amarillo operates one of the largest meat packing areas in the United States. Pantex, the only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility in the country, is also a major employer. The attractions Cadillac Ranch and Big Texan Steak Ranch were located on the former U.S. Highway 66, which passes through the city.
The Amarillo National Bank believes that last year`s economy boom will not continue into the New Year, at least for the first half of the year. The bank has stated that construction and hospitality revenues increases as contractors and insurance adjusters essentially took up residence after the $500 million damage caused by the epic hailstorm last May. Amarillo`s unemployment rate is currently sitting at 4.1%, the lowest rate that it has been at in six years. On the other hand, conservative estimates show that there are still a few thousand buildings in the Amarillo area that will require work after the damage from the hail storm, which should buoy construction and home renovations over the next year.