Business down on Comal River as summer unofficially ends

Tubing companies hit hard by 'Can Ban', many still optimistic about next summer

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas - River outfitters up and down the Comal River in New Braunfels have been struggling this year, a downturn nearly all attribute the Can Ban. 

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The ordinance, passed earlier this year, prohibits the use of disposable containers on the river, such as beer cans.

Outfitters like Texas Tubes said the dip in sales has been noticeable, especially on traditionally popular days like Labor Day.

The river was also noticeably empty on Monday, as those who floated by were able to enjoy lots of room on top of the water.

"It's kind of nice," said Kenny Robertson, who said he's been tubing the Comal for years. "You don't have to worry about bumping into people."

Texas Tubes owner Coley Reno said while the lack of tubers has been frustrating, he is hopeful for next year.

"It's like a growing period," said Reno. "The important thing is, I think, that if people give this a chance, they'll find that it's actually more convenient and more enjoyable than it ever has been. I wouldn't hesitate to take my 3- or 4- or 5-year-old child on the river."

Reno and others said they believe that next summer, sales will improve.

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