New Braunfels 'can ban' reportedly causing confusion

Outfitter reports 45 percent drop in business

Author: Stephanie Serna, Reporter, sserna@ksat.com
Published On: Jul 05 2012 06:45:12 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 05 2012 02:49:10 PM CDT
NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas -

The New Braunfels "can ban" is reportedly causing a lot of confusion.

An Associated Press report released this week shows the ban has even affected tourism.
Scott Gromacki, with the Gruene River Authority, said that generally, on the Fourth of July, river outfitters get a lot of business. But this year, he said it was slow.

In fact, since the "can ban," Gromacki said they have seen at least a 45 percent drop in business.

"It's hard to gauge exactly why it's down," said Gromacki. "But from customer feedback, and customers (from) other years that aren't here now are saying, 'We just don't want to come back. We're tired of all the rules. Every year is a different rule.'"

Michael Meek, president of the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, said it's really too early to know if the ban has caused a drop in business until those sales tax figures come in.

"Some businesses are having a good summer," Meek said "Some are up, some are flat. Some are down. So it's really hard to get a handle on this and make a definitive statement."

However, Meek and river outfitters agree there is confusion over the ban.

"Most people assume that if you can't take a can on the river, therefore you can't take a beer," said Meek. "That's been the biggest hurdle to overcome is that perception that alcohol has been banned."

The Chamber of Commerce and local outfitters are trying to get the message out that you can drink the beverage of your choice on the river.

It just has to be in a non-disposable container.