Low tubing turnout reported on local rivers

Weather, mid-week holiday hurting business


NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – After Memorial Day, the Fourth of July is usually tube rental companies' busiest time of the summer season along the Comal and Guadalupe rivers.

But with the holiday falling on a Wednesday, the best hope was for a pair of moderately busy weekends to sandwich it.

The first weekend did not cooperate.
"Our weather forecast last weekend and the weather wasn't good as far as floating goes," said Coley Reno, owner of Texas Tubes along the Comal river. "It looks to me like this year the upcoming weekend's going to be a little better."

The Comal's flow on Tuesday was 239 cubic feet per second, nearly quadruple the 61 cfs rate at the Guadalupe.

While the Comal's flow is based on nature, the Guadalupe's is at the mercy of the Army Corps of Engineers which must control the flow to keep Canyon Lake from draining.

The flow rates can also play a role in where the business goes.

"I feel like this is the only place where there's constant water level. When we have bad droughts we find that everything else is real dried up," said Claire Garza, who arrived late Tuesday afternoon at Texas Tubes.

"Just depends on what river they like," added Lisa Walzem of Gruene River Company on the Guadalupe river. "If they're dedicated to the Guadalupe, this is where they're going to come but sometimes the Comal will draw them in because this time of year they have more water."

Both companies say business has been a bit slower than usual and said the recent can ban has played a role.

"There's a lot of inaccurate information. The city as well as everybody else did a poor job of letting people know it was a litter issue not an alcohol issue," said Reno, adding that the river has never looked cleaner.