New Braunfels | January 2021

2021 NEWBRAUNFELS EDITION

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A N N U A L C O M M U N I T Y G U I D E

VOLUME 4, ISSUE 2  JAN. 8FEB. 4, 2021

ANNUAL COMMUNITY GUIDE 2021

TOP STORY TO WATCH IN 2021

I HOPE THAT FEARWILL DIMINISH ANDBEREPLACED BYANOPTIMISM, A HOPEFULNESS, THAT ISMODERATEDBY CAUTION. I THINK THERE IS GREATHOPE FORARETURNTO SOMETHING SIMILAR TOWHATWE’VEHAD BEFORE.WE JUST CAN’T BERECKLESS.

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TRANSPORTATION DINING & SHOPPING LISTINGS

CECIL EAGER, OWNER OF GRUENE MANSION INN

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EDUCATION

CITY & COUNTY

One of the New Braunfels hospitality industry’s main draws is Gruene Dance Hall. (Warren Brown/Community Impact Newspaper)

Leaders hope hospitality industry can revive in 2021 BY LAUREN CANTERBERRY & BRIAN RASH

anchor for tourism here,” he said. “It helps ll hotel rooms. It helps ll bars and restaurants and concert venues.” Clayton Hennigan, owner of Stave Beer and Wine House in New Braunfels, said he is also hopeful the local hospitality industry can bounce back this year. Though he opened Stave in late 2019, he said elements of the city that make it a unique tourist attraction— the vibrant tubing scene, nightlife, and myriad widely attended festivals and fairs—should help his establishment as well as many others if they are able to return in 2021.

“I really do want to be a part of all things New Braunfels, [such as the] downtown festivals,” Hennigan said. “It is really important for all aspects of the city.” For Hoyt, Hennigan and many other city leaders and business owners, the impact of the pandemic on river rec- reation, restaurants, bars and hotels, as well as the cancellation of the city’s quintessential festivals that include the highly publicizedWurstfest andWein & Saengerfest, has created a ripple eect that has been seen in lost revenues throughout the hospitality industry. CONTINUED ON 18

Matthew Hoyt said he remains hopeful 2021 will be better than the previous year. The owner of the New Braunfels river outtter business Corner Tubes said the initial pandemic-related orders that forced a temporary shut- tering of his business last March were bad enough. Then a June state-man- dated order that zeroed in on riv- er-based activities closed all related businesses for the rest of the season, and that made it worse. “Tubing rivers in and around New Braunfels is, in many respects, an

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NEW BRAUNFELS EDITION • JANUARY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

IMPACTS

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Heather Demere, hdemere@communityimpact.com EDITOR Brian Rash REPORTER Lauren Canterberry

FROMHEATHER: Happy New Year to all of you. This edition of Community Impact Newspaper is called our Annual Community Guide. In it we are sharing one of the top stories to follow in 2021—the city’s goals toward economic recovery. Also included in this issue are demographic data and extensive listings for shopping and dining establishments that opened in 2020 or are coming soon. At Community Impact Newspaper , we value our readers and would like to encourage you to please reach out to us with story ideas or inquiries about advertising opportunities.

ANNUAL COMMUNITY GUIDE

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Rachal Russell ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Kayla Brooks METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Travis Baker MANAGING EDITOR Amy Denney ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Haley Grace CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, TX. The company’s mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Today we operate across ve metropolitan areas, providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full-time journalists in each community we serve. BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON

Heather Demere, GENERALMANAGER

DINING& SHOPPING

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Local establishments that opened in 2020 or are coming soon TRANSPORTATION

FROMBRIAN: The key to 2020, at least for me, was maintaining the ability to look forward. In this issue of Community Impact Newspaper , dubbed the Annual Community Guide, we are looking forward. From our front-page story on area leaders’ plans to bounce back from the hit the New Braunfels hospitality industry took last year to what the key issues will be for school districts and city and county governments in 2021, we took this opportunity to look ahead. Brian Rash, EDITOR

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Key projects for 2021 EDUCATION

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Key issues for area districts CITY& COUNTY Top news stories for this year COFFEE GUIDE Local brews to taste BUSINESS FEATURE

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NEW BRAUNFELS EDITION • JANUARY 2021

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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opening at 123 S. Union Avenue, New Braunfels on Dec. 13. The taco cart and catering operation specializes in break- fast tacos, specialty tacos, carne asada and handmade flour and corn tortillas. 830-515-3503. www.facebook.com/ mifrijoles 5 All Drive Training Academy LLC opened in New Braunfels in December at 895 FM 306, Ste. B. The academy offers driving instruction to help students develop skills and techniques to become safe, confident drivers. 830-627-9100. www.alldriveta.com 6 Lone Star Battery LLC opened in November at 2090 N. I-35, Ste. 4118, New Braunfels. The store offers new and refurbished batteries for automotive and commercial uses. 830-515-7524. www.lonestarbatterytx.com 7 Home furnishings store Home Mar- ket held a soft opening in New Braunfels in December ahead of a grand opening in January. The store, located at 325 S. I-35 Business Loop, offers furniture, home decor and accessories. 830-625-5513. RELOCATIONS 8 In November, nonprofit Handspun Hope relocated its corporate headquar- ters and showroom from its previous location at Centerpoint Station in San Marcos to 647 S. Seguin Ave., New Braunfels, in the building that previously housed Lucky Ewe Yarns. The Christian nonprofit was originally known as True Vineyard Ministries and was created to provide employment opportunities for survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. 512-392-8463. www.handspunhope.org

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NOWOPEN 1 Voodoo Wine and Coffee Bar , locat- ed at 103 Gattuso Road, New Braunfels, officially opened Nov. 21. The shop serves varietals of wine, beer, coffee, charcuterie boards and desserts. The es- tablishment bills itself as family-friendly and has several items available for brunch, including the Maple Bacon Do- nut Mountain. 360-631-1447. Search @voodoowineandcoffee on Facebook.

2 On Dec. 16, P. Terry’s Burger Stand opened a new location in New Braunfels at 1200 N. I-35. The restaurant is the chain’s southernmost location, accord- ing to a press release, and the company has announced plans to expand further toward San Antonio in the coming years. The restaurant offers burgers, vegetar- ian options, fresh-cut french fries and milkshakes. 830-626-3049. www.pterrys.com

3 Rapid Fired Pizza opened its new location in New Braunfels at 1761 SH 46, New Braunfels, on Nov. 20. The opening marks the pizza chain’s third restaurant in Texas. Rapid Fired is known for its unique craft pizzas that are cooked in 180 seconds, according to the company’s website. Popular pizzas include the Triple By Pass, the Magic Mushroom and the Chicken Bacon Ranch. 830-387-8624. www.rapidfiredpizza.com 4 Mi Frijoles Taco Shop held a soft

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COMPILED BY LAUREN CANTERBERRY AND BRIAN RASH

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P. Terry’s Burger Stand

Handspun Hope

COURTESY P. TERRY’S BURGER STAND

COURTESY HANDSPUN HOPE

ANNIVERSARIES 9 Remedy Roofing , located at 645 Floral Avenue, New Braunfels, celebrated its one-year anniversary at that location in early December. Remedy Roofing was founded in Katy, Texas in 2005, the com- pany has branches throughout Texas and Louisiana, and performs work on all kinds of roofs, including metal, tile, rubber and shingles. The New Braunfels office services clients from Georgetown to San Antonio. 1-888-424-5776. www.remedyroofing.com 10 Rossy’s Pottery , located at 257 Business I-35, New Braunfels, celebrated its 20th anniversary in December. The business imports large clay vases, gar- dening pots, talavera hand crafted items, rustic and hand carved wood, murals and art, and more. A family-owned business, Rossy’s also sells wrought iron cabinets and bars, ceramic goods and clay stoves. 830-481-1307. www.rossyspottery.com 11 Skip’s Beer Wine & Liquor , located at 1174 Loop 337, New Braunfels, cele- brated its one-year anniversary Dec. 17. The business, which is currently building a second location in New Braunfels, features a heavy focus on craft beer and includes more than 30 display coolers of beer as well as a number of bulk options housed in a walk-in beer cave. Skips op- erates two other Central Texas locations in Bulverde and Cibolo. 830-358-7520. www.skipsliquor.com 12 Texas Clinic of Chiropractic , located at 1932 S. Seguin Ave., Ste. 207, New Braunfels, celebrated its one-year anniversary at the end of November. The clinic offers health strategies through

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Frog Hollar owners Ryan, left, and Julie Kirkland, right, stand with their daughter.

COURTESY FROG HOLLAR

FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN Outdoor apparel and accessories store Frog Hollar Outdoor opened at 1273 N. Academy Ave., Ste. 1101, New Braunfels, on Dec. 4. The shop is owned by husband and wife Ryan and Julie Kirkland, who named the store after Frog Hollar Road in Julie’s hometown in North Texas. The couple began their brand online in 2019 and began planning to open a brick-and-mortar location at the end of 2019, Julie said. Customers can still buy Frog Hollar branded merchandise online or in-store, but name-brand clothing, sunglasses, shoes and outdoor equipment are only available in-store. Custom hats, hiking and hunting gear, the ongoing pandemic has created much difficulties and we are no longer able to keep this location operable,” a message on the restaurant’s website stated. According to information from the com- pany, the restaurant’s location at 10018 Startz Road, Canyon Lake, will remain operational under the name Gennaro’s Trattoria. 830-629-2230. www.gennaroscucinaitaliana.com

and Black Rie coee are also available, and Julie is available in the shop daily to assist customers. 817-683-9700 www.froghollaroutdoor.com Hours: Tue.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Rossy’s Pottery

COURTESY ROSSY’S POTTERY

natural, drug-free health care. The staff has extensive chiropractic training, including treatment for pediatrics and pregnant women. 830-282-7933. www.texasclinicnb.com IN THE NEWS On Dec. 16, New Braunfels Utilities joined Denton Municipal Electric, Garland Power and Light and Kerrville Public Utility Board for a virtual ribbon cutting ceremony for the ENGIE Long Draw Solar project in Borden County. NBU holds a Purchase Power Agreement with the facility which will allow NBU to add 100 megawatts of solar energy to its portfo- lio for 15 years. www.nbutexas.com CLOSINGS 13 Gennaro’s La Cucina Italiana , located at 1304 E. Common St., New Braunfels, announced Dec. 14 it would close that location permanently Jan. 1 after five years in business. “This has been a very tough decision to make but

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14 On Dec. 1, River’s Edge Steakhouse announced that the restaurant would be closing permanently due to what information from its website described as complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The steakhouse, located at 1515 Kuehler Ave., New Braunfels, opened in August in the building that formerly housed River Hofbrau. 830-626-2200. www.riversedgenb.com

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COMMUNITY SNAPSHOT

Data and analysis on local communities

COMPILED BY BRIAN RASH

NEWBRAUNFELS

From 2014-19, the city of New Braunfels has changed drastically in numerous ways. When it comes to growth, New Braunfels proves why it is one of the fastest-growing communities nationally through a near 50% jump over ve years. Compared against the state of Texas, which has shown about a 7.5% increase over the same time period, the dierence is signicant. New Braunfels has also gotten a little bit more diverse, and its median household income has increased dramatically. The most recent numbers available show the city’s median household income jumped from less that $60,000 in 2014 to more than $81,000 in 2019.

*HISPANICLATINO IS NOT A RACE, BUT THE HISPANICLATINO PERCENTAGE BELOW MAY INCLUDE MULTIPLE RACES LISTED. THE RACES LISTED, HOWEVER, DO NOT INCLUDE HISPANICLATINO RESIDENTS. SOURCES: U.S. CENSUS BUREAU AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY 2019 5YEAR ESTIMATES COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

WARREN BROWNCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

New Braunfels

Comal County

POPULATION CHANGE

MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME

AGE ANALYSIS

46.99% 34.89% Five-year change

0-19

20-39 40-59 60-79 80+

$59,083

2014

27.8%

27.3%

24.4%

17.3%

$81,131

2019

3.3%

24.4%

22.3%

28.4% 21.7%

3.2%

$64,987

2014

Median age

36.5 42.4

State 35.1

State 7.53%

$79,936

2019

EDUCATION LEVEL

LARGEST EMPLOYMENT SECTORS** 1 Management 2 Sales and oce 3 Service 4 Production, transportation and material moving 5 Construction and maintenance 1 Management 2 Sales and oce 3 Service 4 Construction and maintenance 5 Production, transportation and material moving

LOCAL DEMOGRAPHICS*

37.7% 57.3% 3.1% 0% 1.4% 0% 0% 0.5%

28.1% 66.2%

Hispanic or Latino

White

High school diploma or higher achieved

90.9%

92.6%

3.1% 0.1% 1.5% 0.1% 0.3% 0.7%

Black or African American

American Indian or Alaska native

Asian

Native Hawaiian or other Pacic Islander Some other race Two or more races

Bachelor’s degree or higher achieved

34.7%

32.8%

**EMPLOYMENT FOR AGE 16 AND OLDER

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NEW BRAUNFELS EDITION • JANUARY 2021

SHOPPING&DINING

Retailers, restaurants that opened in 2020 or are coming in 2021

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210-849-5794 www.creationscateringtx.com $$$ 15 The Daiquiri Depot 311 FM 306, Ste. 1A 830-632-5888 www.daiquiridepot.com $ H K 16 Roc N Ritas 211 Elliott Knox Blvd. 830-358-7435 www.rocnritasnewbraunfels.com $ H SHOPPING AUTOMOTIVE 17 Big League Car Wash 1293 Hillcrest Drive 830-837-2065 www.bigleaguecarwash.com 18 FleetPride 3943 IH 35 S. 830-310-8350 www.branches.eetpride.com 19 Valvoline Instant Oil Change 240 FM 306 830-515-5488 www.vioc.com 20 Watershed Car Wash 114 I-35 Business Loop 830-310-7761 www.watershedcarwash.com BEAUTY 21 Frenchies Modern Nail Care 1928 Hwy. 46, Ste. 102 830-632-3400 www.frenchiesnails.com 22 The Industry Salon & Studios 382 S. IH 35, Unit 1 830-627-4237 www.facebook.com/Theindustrysalon andstudiosnb 23 Tonie Taylor Salon 2339 Gruene Lake Drive, Ste. B 830-387-4283 www.tonietaylor.com CLOTHING 24 Guadalupe Vintage & Co. 1720 Hunter Road 737-228-7230 www.guadalupevintage.com

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Average entrees: $ Up to $9.99 $$ $10-$19.99

$$$ $20 or more

B Breakfast/brunch H Happy hour

K Kids menu

MEXICAN 10 Mi Frijoles 123 S. Union Ave. 830-515-3503 www.facebook.com/mifrijoles $ B COMING EARLY 2021 PIZZA 11 Above Ground Pizza 311 FM 306, Ste. 2B www.abovegroundpizza.com $$ COMING EARLY 2021 12 Marco’s Pizza 2084 Central Plaza, Ste. 101 830-302-4850 www.marcos.com $$ 13 Rapid Fired Pizza 1761 Hwy. 46, Ste. 107 800-465-9910 www.rapidredpizza.com $$ K OTHER 14 Creations Catering 2031 Central Plaza, Ste. 107

COMPILED BY LAUREN CANTERBERRY

409-330-0328 www.facebook.com/WWSeafoodKitchen $ 6 Willy B’s Burgers and Pizza 2188 Hwy. 46 830-627-9009 www.willybsa.com $$ B K CHAINS 7 KFC 240 FM 306 830-632-3503 www.kfc.com $ K 8 Subway

DINING AMERICAN 1 Bill Miller BBQ

17600 IH 35 S. 830-632-5272 www.billmillerbbq.com $$ B 2 The Concession Stand 2348 Gruene Lake Drive, Ste. A www.facebook.com/The-Concession- Stand-109617674194845/ $ 3 New Braunfels Biscuit Co. 1528 E. Common St., Ste. 2 830-387-4894 www.facebook.com/thebiscuitnb $ B 4 P. Terry’s 1210 I-35 www.pterrys.com $ B 5 Wild Water Seafood Kitchen 486 Landa St.

1761 S. Hwy. 46 830-620-4442 www.subway.com $ B K 9 True Texas BBQ 2965 I-35

830-312-5700 www.heb.com $$

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

2 0 2 1 S P E C I A L E D I T I O N

830-632-5755 www.outlawbodyfuel.com HOME

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33 My Happy Place Boutique 2327 Gruene Lake Drive, Ste. C 512-484-5808 www.myhappyplacehome.com 34 Traveling Gypsy Downtown 265 W. San Antonio St. 830-312-7372 www.travelinggypsy.org OTHER 35 Bee Easy Craft 1305 W. San Antonio St. 830-632-5775 www.beeeasycrafts.com 36 Everyday Carry Texas 965 N. Walnut Ave., Ste. 100 830-632-5116 www.edctx.com 37 Kids R Kids Learning Academy 2230 Independence Drive 830-856-2727 www.kidsrkids.com 38 Pedego Electric Bike 231 Landa St. 830-312-6740 www.pedegoelectricbikes.com 39 Pillars Christian Learning Center 2144 Gabriels Place, New Braunfels 830-310-0017 www.thepillarsclc.com COMING EARLY 2021 40 Postal Annex 2005 Central Plaza, Ste. 110 830-627-4400 www.postalannex.com 41 Nxtlvl Marine 1980 N I-35 830-767-0772 www.nxtlvlmarine.com 42 Sparky’s Dog House 697 S. Seguin Ave. 830-608-9399 www.facebook.com/sparkysdoghousenb 43 The Water Bar 390 Landa St., New Braunfels 830-625-3763 www.thewaterbartx.com

Soul Shine

COURTESY SOUL SHINE

25 Pom Perfect 2339 Gruene Lake Drive, Ste. D 830-609-9993 www.pom-perfect.com 26 Soul Shine 292 W. Mill St. 830-627-4610 FITNESS 27 Gracie Jiu-Jitsu New Braunfels 351 Main Plaza 830-627-9305 www.laurelgraceyoga.com 29 New Braunfels Family YMCA 545 Creekside Crossing 830-606-9622 www.ymcasatx.org 30 Straight Blast Texas Martial Arts & Yoga School 167A I-35 S. 830-832-6681 www.sbgtexas.com FOOD 31 A-Tan Market 1528 E. Common St., Ste. 14 830-620-1999 www.atansushibar.com HEALTH 4306 FM 482 210-787-0542 www.gracieuniversity.com 28 Laurel Grace Yoga

Above Ground Pizza will open in January.

LAUREN CANTERBERRYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

FIRST LOOK

Above Ground Pizza Above Ground Pizza, which is scheduled to open in January, will bring the menu of a former New Braunfels restaurant back to life—with a few changes.

recipe Jimmy White has been working on for over nine months. Fresh salads, grinder sandwiches and calzones will also be featured on the menu, and the pizzas will incorporate traditional and unique avors, he said. “We could not be any more humbled or excited to be getting back in business and getting back to seeing our old friends and buddies and making new friends,” he said. Above GroundPizza 311 FM 306, Ste. 2B, New Braunfels www.abovegroundpizza.com Hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 12-6 p.m.

When owners Jimmy and Annette White decided to close their rst restaurant, Underground Pizza, in March of 2018, they transitioned into oering personal chef services. “I started in the restaurant business when I was 14 years old as a dishwasher, and I’ve never left it,” said Jimmy White, who is a chef as well as co-owner. Jimmy White attended culinary school at the Culinary Institute of America and has worked in restaurants all over the country, he said. The idea to create Above Ground Pizza began when Jimmy White realized that no other restaurant in the city oered pizza made the way he prefers it. “Pizza’s super individual,” he said. “There are lots of dierent ways that people love it and lots of dierent ways people claim is the best.” The restaurant will feature a wood- burning oven and pizza dough that incorporates a sourdough starter, a

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATION

Key transportation stories

COMPILED BY LAUREN CANTERBERRY

ANOTHER PROJECT TO FOLLOW IN 2021

TOP TRANSPORTATION STORIES OF 2021

Construction to rehabilitate pavement and install sidewalks on nine streets in New Braunfels began in December and is expected to continue through 2021. The streets are included in the $15 million Citywide Streets Improvement Program approved by voters during the 2019 bond election, with this portion of the program expected to cost $2.5 million. Over the course of ve years, more than 20 streets will be repaired. Work that began on South Grant Avenue, East South Street and South Central Avenue on Dec. 14 will go through 2021, as will construction on Lakeview Blvd. that began in November. Streets running near Lamar Elementary School will be under construction this summer and include North Houston Avenue, East North Street, East Commerce Street, North Veramendi Avenue and East Main Street, according to Assistant Capital Project Manager Charlie Blue. Information from the city states work is antici- pated to be completed by spring 2022. Construction underway onmany streets citywide

The New Braunfels Citywide Streets Improvement Program was included in the city’s 2019 bond and aims to improve roads throughout the city to keep up with the growing community.

IMPROVING THE ROADS

LANDA PARK DR.

HINMAN ISLAND DR.

337

10 PROJECTS FOR 2021:

N

Hinman Island Drive Beginning Nov. 30, portions of Elizabeth Avenue and Hinman Island Drive between Landa Park Drive and Liberty Avenue will be closed until April 30. Construction crews contracted by New Braunfels Utilities will be working to install sanitary sewer lines as part of NBU’s North Kuehler 30-inch to 33-inch Interceptor Upgrade Project. The project will replace and upgrade aging infrastructure, and work will be conducted Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m. for the duration of the closure. Fencing and detour signage has been installed to guide pedestrians around the construction site, and the Hinman Island Park footbridge will also be closed until April 30. The project will not impact river access in Hinman Island Park, but the Wurstfest grounds will be closed to pedestrian trac and river access for the duration of the work. Prince Solms Park and the Prince Solms parking lot will be closed to thru trac from Nov. 30-Feb. 28 while sewer pipe along Liebscher Drive is installed. Timeline: November-April 30 Cost: $10.3 million Funding source: NBU North Kuehler 30-inch to 33-inch Interceptor Upgrade Project

5

HOUSTON AVE.

8

VERAMENDI AVE.

6

NORTH ST.

10

N. GRANT AVE.

7

COMMERCE ST.

9

MAIN ST.

SOURCE: CITY OF NEW BRAUNFELS COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

SAN ANTONIO ST.

4

CENTRAL AVE.

MATHER ST.

N

I35 expansion andwork to last through 2021 As part of the Texas Department of Transportation’s I-35 Improvement Project, a portion of I-35 from Con- rads Lane/Kohlenberg Road to FM 1102/York Creek Road will undergo several projects this year. in injury or fatality and 80%-96% fewer head-on crashes. The project will also include a rebuild of the Conrads Lane and Kohlenberg intersection. The existing overpass will be

1102

YORK CREEK RD.

35

Northbound and southbound frontage roads will be converted from two-way to one-way trac and will be widened to three lanes, according to TxDOT. TxDOT planning documents state one-way frontage roads result in 57% fewer crashes that result

removed and replaced with an I-35 overpass that will cover a new four- lane road to connect Conrads and Kohlenberg, according to TxDOT. An additional intersection north of Conrads and Kohlenberg is antici- pated to be completed by the end of 2021.

CONRADS LN.

KOHLENBERG RD.

1101

N

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

EDUCATIONBRIEFS

Top news from local districts

2 0 2 1 S P E C I A L E D I T I O N

OTHER STORIES TO FOLLOW IN 2021

TOP EDUCATION STORIES OF 2021

CISDandNBISD to holdNovember bond elections

New NBISD board members During a Dec. 14 meeting of the New Braunfels ISD board of trustees, two new board members were sworn into oce. The trustees were chosen by voters in the November election. Nancy York will represent NBISD Single-Member District 2, taking the place of incumbent Michael Calta; and John Tucker will represent NBISD Single-Member District 4, taking the place of incumbent Matthew Sargent. Second NBISD high school named After several months of name suggestions and community input, the New Braunfels ISD board of trustees ocially named the district’s second high school campus New Braunfels Long Creek High School at a Dec. 14 board meeting. In August 2021, students at the Ninth Grade Center will move into the facility, located at 4150 Klein Meadows, New Braunfels, which currently serves as New Braunfels Middle School.

BY LAUREN CANTERBERRY

PROPOS ED PROJ EC T S PROPO PROJ EC T S

NBISD and CISD have announced plans to present voters with bond propositions in 2021. Here are a few projects that could appear on ballots in November.

After canceling its 2020 bond election due to the coronavirus pandemic, Comal ISD has begun planning a 2021 bond that will go before voters in November. Members of the planning commit- tee, known as the Comal Forward Committee, began meeting in the fall of 2020 to discuss preliminary projects to be incorporated in the bond. The bond will include up to four propositions aimed at building new campuses; maintaining and updating existing facilities; investing in tech- nology; and constructing a multi-use event center within the district, according to Executive Director of Communications Steve Stanford. “The 2020 bond was a starting point,” Stanford said. “The needs that existed then have not changed.” Committee members carried many projects in the canceled 2020 bond into plans for the 2021 bond, Stanford said, while also allocating more funding for technology, facility maintenance and land acquisition in order to keep pace with the district’s rapid growth. In total, the 2020 bond was planned to include four propositions and cost a total of $397.7 million, whereas the 2021 bond is estimated to total $453 million, though an exact gure will not be available until August when the board of trustees ocially calls the election, Stanford said. The district is also planning to hold a Voter-Approval Tax Rate

COMAL ISD

NEW BRAUNFELS ISD

Maintaining existing facilities

Adding ne arts, career and technical education facilities to the second high school

Bus, land and technology acquisitions

Adding athletics facilities at the second high school

Construction of a multiuse events center

Building a new elementary school near the Veramendi development

Building new campuses

KLEIN MEADOWS

SOURCES: COMAL ISD, NEW BRAUNFELS ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

1044

Superintendent Randy Moczygemba. “It’s impossible to take an older building and make it look completely new, but there’ll be some renova- tions going on,” Moczygemba said in a Dec. 10 parent Zoom conference. “We need to look at new furniture and stu and we want to make sure that kids on both [high school] cam- puses have the same opportunities.” As the district grows, Moczy- gemba shared that a total of six new campuses will be added in the next 20 years, including four new elemen- tary schools, one new middle school and a third high school. Planning for the 2021 bond will begin in the spring, Moczygemba said.

Election in November, which is required when school districts seek to raise their tax rate above a pre- scribed amount. Ocials have yet to release information about proposed changes to the tax rate. New Braunfels ISD has also announced plans to hold a Novem- ber bond election and is currently forming a bond planning committee. The 2021 bond would focus primarily on providing funding to complete the district’s second high school, building an elementary school in the Veramendi devel- opment on the northwest side of New Braunfels, and updating existing facilities, according to

Future New Braunfels Long Creek High School

N

TEA cancels accountability ratings The Texas Education Agency announced Dec. 10 that school districts will not receive an A-F accountability rating for the 2020-21 school year due to ongoing disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic. According to the announcement, students will still take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness this school year; however, the test results will be primarily used for the assessment of student

comprehension and not for accountability purposes.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY&COUNTY

News from New Braunfels

2 0 2 1 S P E C I A L E D I T I O N

Q&AWITHMAYOR RUSTY BROCKMAN

TOP CITY & COUNTY STORIES OF 2021

PROJECTED GROWTH

As detailed in New Braunfels’ comprehensive plan, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that the city will grow substantially between now and 2040.

GROWTH SPURT

Key issues for New Braunfels In a recent interview, Mayor Rusty Brockman said he will be focused on several key issues for the city in 2021. The following answers have been edited for length and clarity. WHAT IS NEEDED FOR HEALTH CARE? My rst main priority at this particular time as we step into 2021 is that we are able to continue to take care of those who live in our community and provide them with the proper health care they deserve in the time of a pandemic. There has been a great team built up since March that has been working together to try to make sure that everyone has been taken care of. I think that in 2021, we can’t stop and say we’re done with 2020. Our responsibility as a community is to continue to nd ways to support and take care of everyone. HOW CAN EDUCATION BE IMPROVED? We need to continue our strong eorts ... to bring more higher education, not only for our high school kids, but for our adult learners as well as our business and industry community. The Central Texas Technology Center was built and opened in 2004 for the purpose of helping us recruit new business and industries and also manage a diverse business community. There are some things that the city … [can do] to provide the good educational opportunities we’ve been providing but to also expand. WHAT ARE OTHER PRIORITIES? We’ve got the [2021] Texas legislative session coming up. The city has put together their legislative aairs program. The Chamber of Commerce has done that, [Comal] County is doing that, and the school districts [of New Braunfels and Comal] are doing that. I think [the various agendas are] so much alike across the board in several areas that [it will be important to] ... work together during this legislative session.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

FRISCO, TX

PFLUGERVILLE, TX NEW BRAUNFELS, TX ANKENY, IA BUCKEYE, AZ GEORGETOWN, TX CASTLE ROCK, CO FRANKLIN, TN MCKINNEY, TX MERIDIAN, ID FLOWER MOUND, TX BEND, OR CEDAR PARK, TX DORAL, FL FORT MEYERS, FL

In 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau showed New Braunfels was the second-fastest-growing city in the nation among those with a population of 50,000 or more. When the data was analyzed, New Braunfels had grown by an average of 8% each year since 2010, a growth rate surpassed only by that of Frisco, Texas.

208,163

250,000

200,000

154,893

150,000

94,271

10 11 12 13 14 15

100,000

54,072

Total projected growth from 2020-40:

50,000

113,892

0

2010 Projected 2020*

Projected 2030

Projected 2040

*MOST RECENT CENSUS NUMBERS ARE FROM 2019

SOURCES: ENVISION NEW BRAUNFELS, U.S. CENSUS BUREAUCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

City leaders poised to tackle issues of rapid growth BY BRIAN RASH As 2021 begins, city leaders and sta are focused on addressing numerous issues pertaining to New Braunfels and its rapid growth.

City Council as they relate to housing and other matters. Other issues pertaining to growth are discussed in the city’s comprehensive plan, Envision New Braunfels, which will help guide city leaders for at least the next 15 years. Adopted by City Council in August 2018, Envision New Braunfels is meant to reect the community’s vision and to act as a guide for the future through 2030 and beyond. City documents state that the 2018 plan is an update of New Braunfels’ 1999 Comprehensive Plan. Envision New Braunfels was developed over a period of two years. It covers myriad issues, including housing, transportation, urban design, economic development and natural resource protection. Je Jewell, director of economic and community devel- opment for New Braunfels, said Envision New Braunfels will be key for the city in 2021. “I think we’re still going to keep focused on our strategic priorities that are outlined in Envision New Braunfels,” Jewell said. “Our economic development strategic plan; our workforce housing plan; [we are going to] continue to enhance the strength of our downtown core.” Jewell said ongoing work on the plan will have to align with mandates and restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

New Braunfels is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation among those with a population greater than 50,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Because of that, Mayor Rusty Brockman said, one key issue is going to be workforce housing. “It behooves all of us as a community to work together, to be prepared for that growth so that we can provide for people who are moving here and that they’ve got houses to live in, or apartments,” Brockman said. “The growth does not appear to be slowing down, and we certainly know that it’s not going to stop.” The U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent data, which is from 2019, marks New Braunfels’ population at 90,710, up by roughly 68% from 2010, when the city’s population stood at 54,072. By the year 2040, the bureau projects, New Braunfels will have 208,163 residents. Brockman said that in the coming months, city staers and various committees will be ready to hit the ground running and to bring suggestions and initiatives before

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NEW BRAUNFELS EDITION • JANUARY 2021

TOP STORY

Although revenues and bookings started bouncing back later in 2020, hotel tax revenue for New Braunfels showed sharp declines year over year from April-October 2020 versus the same months in 2019. 2019 2020 H I T H A R D Hotels

-49.18%

$800K

$700K

-35.97%

$600K

-31.93%

$500K

$400K

SOURCE: NEW BRAUNFELS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

-43.53%

-79.63%

$300K

-3.37% -15.53%

D E C L I N E I N drink sales Ocials and other leaders in New Braunfels say the sector hardest hit by the pandemic h s been the hospitality industry. This includes dining, bars and hotels/motels. As one indicator of how the area has been hit, data shows New Braunfels’ mixed beverage receipts in the third quarter of 2020 declined signicantly from the previous year. NET MIXED BEVERAGE SALES FOR JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER:

$200K

$100K

$0

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUG.

SEPT.

OCT.

average—Meek estimates roughly 40% in Texas compared with about 20-25% in the New Braunfels area—hospitality remains a key focus this year. “That particular sector will take longer to come back than others, because people are just not trav- eling yet and staying in hotel rooms like they used to,” Meek said. In order to bring back the amount of tourism New Braunfels is used to, City Council in the summer allo- cated roughly $290,000 in federal funding that was used to create amarketing and advertising campaign, with plans to continue the eort well into 2021. While Meek maintains condence the hospitality sector can bounce back, he said there is no denying the dangers if it does not. “It’s going to be very dicult if we can’t return to some normalcy of occupancy and visitations here in 2021,” Meek said. “Especially starting this summer, there are a lot of businesses that are holding on and probably in debt.” Beyond the federal funding used for marketing and advertising in 2020, Meek said the city is still providing funding from hotel occupancy tax reve- nues to continue the eort through 2021, focusing on local events this year. Major drivers of tourism in New Braunfels are the annual festivals that draw visitors from neigh- boring communities and, in the case of Wurstfest, across the world. In 2019, 233,556 visitors attended Wurstfest’s 10-day festival, according to the Wurstfest Associa- tion, and the inux of attendees brings needed reve- nue to the hospitality industry during the o-season.

occupancy rate was climbing during May and June, and then there was another wave [of COVID-19] in July,” Eager said. Data from the comptroller’s oce shows that during the months of May-August, river tourism slowed in response to stay-at-home orders, leading hotel occupancy tax revenue to decline by an aver- age of 40.15% compared to 2019. With the cancellation of large events such as the Comal County Fair and Rodeo and restrictions on in-person gatherings, Eager continued to see ane- mic bookings. “When those [events] went away, that took a lot of Gruene Hall’s business and, consequently, our business,” he said. In response to the pandemic, hotel owners such as Eager began incorporating contactless check-in proce- dures, virtual communication with guests and added cleaning measures. “I have no idea how long it will take before peo- ple will feel comfortable traveling like they did pre- COVID[-19], and there will be a certain segment of the population that will not ever be comfortable,” Eager said. The impact of NewBraunfels tourism Another priority for city leaders is to revive the hospitality sector through aggressive tourism mar- keting and other strategies. This is according to Michael Meek, president of the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce. He said even though pandemic-related hotel occupancy declines locally have not been as high as the state

$ 1 8 3 , 9 8 2 . 3 4 $ 1 0 5 , 5 6 9 . 6 9

2019

2020

OF 4 2 . 6 2%

DECLINE

SOURCE: TEXAS COMPTROLLER’S OFFICE COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

CONTINUED FROM 1

A major goal for these stakeholders now is to see the hospitality industry ourish again, but many plans have yet to solidify as predictability about the pandemic and public safety remains elusive. The pandemic’s ripple eect In April 2020, hotel occupancy tax revenue in New Braunfels dropped about 80% compared to April 2019 according to the Texas State Comptrol- ler’s Oce, marking a sharp decline in overnight stays during the early months of the pandemic. For Cecil Eager, owner of Gruene Mansion Inn, the closure of Gruene Hall and other attractions led to a drop-o in bookings. Eager said the 33-room inn had 990 room rental opportunities in April. Of the available reservations, the hotel only lled 10. “We started making a comeback in May and ... our

18

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