Amarillo is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Potter County. It is the largest city in the Texas Panhandle. A portion of the city extends into Randall County. Amarillo anchors the Amarillo-Pampa-Borger combined statistical area. The city of Amarillo, originally named Oneida, 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 to the city's growth as a cattle-marketing centre in the late 19th century.
Amarillo 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), 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 location of this facility also gave rise to the nickname "Bomb City". The attractions Cadillac Ranch and Big Texan Steak Ranch are located adjacent to Interstate 40. U.S. Highway 66 also passed through the city.
Amarillo is considered the regional economic centre for the Texas Panhandle, as well as Eastern New Mexico and the Oklahoma Panhandle. The meat packing industry is a major employer in Amarillo; about one-quarter of the United States' beef supply is processed in the area. The city is also the location of headquarters for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. Petroleum extraction is also a major industry. The helium industry has decreased in significance since the federal government privatised local operations in the late 1990s. Bell Helicopter Textron opened a helicopter assembly plant near the city's international airport in 1999.
The city's largest employer in 2005 was Tyson Foods, with 3,700 employees. The Amarillo Independent School District was next with 3,659 employees followed by BWXT Pantex, Baptist St. Anthony's Health Care System, City of Amarillo, Northwest Texas Healthcare System, Amarillo College, Wal-mart, and United Supermarkets. Other major employers include Bell Helicopter Textron, Owens-Corning, Amarillo National Bank and ASARCO.
Approximately 14 million acres (57,000 km²) of agricultural land surrounds the city with corn, wheat, and cotton as the primary crops. Other crops in the area include sorghum, silage, hay, and soybeans. The Texas Panhandle, particularly in Hereford, Texas, serves as a fast-growing milk producing area as several multimillion-dollar state of the art dairies were built in early 2000s.
The Amarillo Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) is funded by a city sales tax, and it provides aggressive incentive packages to existing and prospective employers. In the mid-to-late 1990s, the AEDC gained notoriety by sending mock checks to businesses across the country, placing full-page advertisements in The Wall Street Journal, and paying an annual $1 million subsidy to American Airlines to retain jet service. The AEDC is largely responsible for bringing Bell Helicopter Textron's development of the V-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft and the future site of Marine One assembly in Amarillo.
From 2020 to 2021, Amarillo experienced its most economic development in 30 years. Amazon, Asset Protection Unit, and Texas Tech University Vet School were named some major organisations contributing to the city and metropolitan area's economic growth. Through the COVID-19 pandemic in Texas, the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce announced a new initiative to help local businesses rebound from the pandemic. Its tourism industry also rebounded.
Amarillo was ranked #279 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Amarillo has a population of over 199,371 people. Amarillo also forms part of the wider Amarillo-Pampa-Borger metropolitan area which has a population of over 308,064 people. Amarillo is the #289 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 2.7541 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents.