Looks like there will be ideal conditions for tubing on the rivers this weekend.
NEW BRAUNFELS — With excellent tubing flows expected on both the Guadalupe and Comal rivers, tourism officials are expecting business to boom this weekend as tens of thousands of tourists flock to town to kick off the summer.
"Mother Nature has been good to us," New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce President Michael Meek said. "The releases from Canyon Dam will create optimum conditions all the way from Canyon Lake to New Braunfels."
Riverside campgrounds reported being booked full.
"We are looking for a big weekend," said Jerry Lara, manager at the River Haus on Farm Road 306 in Sattler. "We're blowing up new tubes and getting ready."
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Canyon Dam announced plans to cut the release rate into the Guadalupe River from 1,000 cubic feet per second to 400 cfs Thursday night and keep it there until Tuesday, when the release will jump to 2,500 cfs.
The flow for the weekend is in the prime range for tubing and rafting. The nearby Comal River is also in prime shape for tubing. The 2,500-cfs level on the Guadalupe, which will start Tuesday, is suitable only for experienced rafters and kayakers.
With Canyon Lake a couple of feet above normal and good flows into the reservoir, good tubing conditions are expected to last long into the summer this year. That should give outfitters an opportunity to continue their recovery from the disastrous 2002 season, when the July 4 flood destroyed many of the buildings and washed out business for the rest of the year, Lara said.
Meek said it would be difficult to underestimate the importance of the Memorial Day weekend to the city.
"Summer is condensed into about 10 weeks now, and the three holiday weekends (Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day) account for half of that business."
New Braunfels police said they will be ready for the flood of river tourists as well, with extra officers patrolling the rivers.
"Play nice, be safe and don't make waves," Meek said. "Don't leave your manners at home."