Finding Ways Around The New Braunfels Can Ban
The city of New Braunfels has banned certain types of containers on portions of the Guadalupe and Comal rivers. It’s affecting business and forcing tubers to think about new ways to eat and drink on the river.
Jordan Berger was waiting in the Rockin’ R River Rides parking lot next to the Comal River with some friends. They had an ice chest with drinks for the whole group, and Berger was carrying a zip-lock bag full of sandwiches. She was shocked to learn that disposable bags are not allowed on the river in New Braunfels as part of the new ordinance.
“They’re not?” she asked, surprised.
No, they’re not. Neither are beer cans or water bottles. But there are a few ways around it.
“The city ordinance, the new laws, that only pertains from the Greune Bridge down into the city limits,” said Scott Gromacki, assistant manager at Greune River Co. “If you go upriver from Greune, those city ordinances do not take effect.”
And that’s what some summer floaters are doing. Tommy Longoria’s already floated a number of times this summer. He knows that the down-river float is a bit more relaxed, but doesn’t seem to care.
“It’s not worth it,” Longoria said. “We mostly just go upriver because everything you can, like, throw away and stuff. Or else you have to keep all the reusables.”
But Gromacki, the businessman, says a lot of people don’t know that upriver floating is also an option.
“We’re down 40 to 50 percent for this time of year. We’re hoping it picks up. If we get more rain that would help. But, the main factor that we’re down is the city ordinances,” he said.
The downturn in business may be one of the reasons why the New Braunfels Convention and Visitors Bureau has hired a public relations firm to get this message out: You can still bring alcohol downriver on the Comal. You’ve just got to have the right container. That means basically anything that’s reusable and not glass or Styrofoam.
Gromacki says he’s seen folks getting pretty creative with their storage devices. “They’ll bring new gas containers, like a one-gallon jug. A gas jug. And put their beer in it. Things like that,” he said.
Other containers that are acceptable: 5-gallon Gatorade coolers like the ones you see on the sidelines of a football game, coffee Thermoses and even kegs of beer. And if you have any questions about whether or not your innovative container is kosher, you can find out exactly what is and isn’t allowed on the rivers at watertherules.com