Posted: Dec 26, 2012 6:39 PM
Updated: Dec 26, 2012 8:33 PM
DONNA - Rio Grande Valley RV park operators say there has been a decrease in the number of Winter Texans visiting the region.
Victoria Palms Resort Manager Karen Pike said they have seen a steady decrease in the number of Winter Texans during the past few years.
"They're aging. We're seeing some of them going into nursing homes. Some have passed away and others have had to move home to be closer to their families," Pike said.
Pike said January is the peak Winter Texan arrival month. She said her resort counts on a steady flow of visitors.
Victoria Palms employs 75 people. That number jumps to 125 during the peak Winter Texan season from October through April, Pike said.
"It's the make-or-break for all of us," she said.
"I was worried ... you bet I was. I lost a lot of sleep over that," Pike said.
The latest wave of visitors, however, may be a signal of better things to come.
Pike said a lot of the new visitors are younger. Some have not even retired yet, she said.
"About five years ago the average age in this RV resort was 60 to 65. Now we're seeing an average of 55 to 60," she said.
She said that is an important aspect to people in the RV business. Pike said they have to adapt to remain an attractive option for winter visitors.