Bandera family business destroyed

Bandera Beach Club burns


Owners of a family tube and kayak business in Bandera are trying to pick up the pieces after it burned to the ground Sunday night.

"It was fun," said Gerhard Retief, owner of the Bandera Beach Club, as he looked at the damage left behind.

Retief said the family had been in business for nine years, renting out equipment along the Medina River. But Sunday's fire destroyed their building, burned more than 200 tubes and kayaks and damaged their buses.

"I'm not worried about the equipment because that stuff can be replaced," said Retief. "But it is a family business, so we had a lot of family sweat here and to see this, it's heart-breaking."

Retief said Thursday that what is even more frustrating is that investigators with the City of Bandera Marshal's Office are ruling the cause as arson.

Retief said just last year, a group of teens vandalized his business, breaking windows and spraying graffiti.

And while investigators said the two cases are unrelated, Retief is asking parents to be aware of where your children are and what they are doing.

"The results can be devastating," he said. "And it's totally unnecessary. So please, if you are a parent out there, make sure you know where your children are."

And with the lack of rain, Retief said his business was already suffering. But now that there's nothing left, he says he just doesn't know if they will re-build.

"Now all of a sudden, everything has come to a stop, regardless of weather," said Retief. "I mean, the weather will always come, the river will always flow, but to come a halt like this is devastating. I don't know what we are going to do."

Bandera City Marshal Charles Hicks said that on Wednesday night, two teens confessed to starting the fire, but the case is still under investigation and the they have yet to be charged.

For a list of recent stories Stephanie Serna has done, click here.

About the Author: