~Spillover Violence TM deterring Winter Texans from visiting the Valley?
Thu, 03 Nov 2011 23:57:05 GMT —
In the past week, the attempted kidnappings and the deputy-involved shootout has caught the attention of state leaders.Just Wednesday, the Texas Attorney General sent a letter to President Obama addressing the Mexican spillover violence.With the start of Winter Texan season, we looked into whether this attention is deterring some Winter Texans from staying in the Rio Grande Valley.Carolyn Brian said all this talk of Mexican violence spillover has only made her more aware of her surroundings, but won't keep her from enjoying the Valley.Carolyn's parents first starting visiting the Valley as Winter Texans, and she has enjoyed keeping with that tradition.
"So far we've been okay for the last eight years," said Brian.
This is her first week back and she said Sheriff Lupe Trevino's announcement that Mexican drug cartel violence has made its way to the Valley won't keep her from enjoying her month TMs long visit.
We stay within the park, we go to a few events in the evening outside the park, we've felt safe so far we haven't had a problem," said Brian.
She said she believes the violence is contained and as long as she is vigilant, she'll be just fine.
"We tend to go to the same places that we've always gone, said Brian. We don't venture out on side roads very much and there's a lot going on in the park and a lot to do here, so it's just keeping up with everything going on here."
But David Renner, owner of McAllen Mobile Park said some Winter Texans are on the fence about staying in the Valley this season.
"Some of the new Winter Texans that we got calling to make a new reservation with us ask if it's safe to come down here, and so far, we've been able to say yes," said Renner.
Although there has been recent drug cartel activity, Renner has faith in local law enforcement keeping it under control.
"So far, law enforcement is doing as good a job as possible," said Renner.
Kristi Collier with Welcome Home Rio Grande Valley, a marketing company targeting Winter Texans said it would be devastating to lose Winter Texans.
"I think it's more of a concern of the new generation of Winter Texans, said Collier. Those who have not been to Texas or to the Rio Grande Valley, and that's what I'm very afraid of that we'll miss on that market."
An estimated 140 thousand Winter Texans visit the Valley each year, and if the Valley loses these visitors, it could have a great impact.
"They have an estimated economic impact of over 800 million dollars, and that's a pretty big piece of the pie for us," said Collier.
She admits it's pretty early in the season to determine whether the "spillover violence" will affect the market, but she hopes Winter Texans continue to choose the Valley as the place to spend their winter months.
Carolyn said she believes as long as Winter Texans are aware of their surroundings, stay with crowds and on main streets, they should be okay.