New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 22, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
WEDNESDAYPlayoff season ends for New Braunfels, Canyon - See Page 9
New Braunfels Sesquicentennial March 21,1845
410 1*1016 10/22/99 ISS
S 0 - W E S T ll IC R 0 P U B 1.1S HIN0 2627 E YANDELL DR
EL PASO, TX 79903-
16 pages in one section ■ Wednesday, Feb. 22,1995
Serving Comal County for more than 143 years ■ Home of GEORGE SOEFJE
■ Vol. 143, No. 73
Arts & Entertainment.......
Birthday wishes from tho Horald-Zoltung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends the following birthday wishes to; Faye Ivy, Kirk Smith, Werner Kleeling, Sr., Margarito Castilleja, Sr. (88 years!), George Soefje, Margarito Padilla, Sharon Tate, Gerta Kohlenberg (belated), Vallie Lanier (belated), Howard Huft.
Happy Anniversary to Mr.
& Mrs. Melvin Tausch (48 years!).
Don Maxwell to )reak ground today at 4 p.m.
By ROGER CROTEAU
Don Maxwell's Chevy New Braunfels Chevrolet-Geo breaks ground at its new location that will be one-third bigger than its current home this afternoon at 4 p.m.
The deanship is located at 386 W. San Antonio St. and will move to the east side of Interstate 35, between the Seguin Street and Walnut Street exits.
Owner Don Maxwell said he started looking for a larger location about 18 months ago. "We need a larger facility, and we are landlocked at our current facility, so we can’t get any bigger here,” he said.
The seven-acre site at 725 IH-35 South will house a 32,000 square foot building. “Our community’s business base has shifted ... towards the area where Wal-Mart, Target and HEB have moved to," he said. “It made sense for us to go to where our customers are going and spending their money already. And being on the highway gives us increased visibility to people driving through."
Maxwell said the new site will offer several other advantages, such as easier access, better ability to control hazardous wastes from painting operations and petroleum storage, and reduced runoff from parking lots.
He said the target date for opening the new location is the first week of July.
Business After Hours scheduled Fob. 23
The monthly Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce' "Business After Hours" membership mixer will be held at Kraft Mobiletel, 679 S.
Seguin St. on Thursday, Feb. 23 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The mixer is an opportunity for chamber members to make new contacts and exchange ideas with other members of the business community.
Play oount th* Elvis Sightings! rn
Correctly count all the number of times Elvis i/rf
appears in the Herald- I/j I Z$itung this week and \1j J win prizes' See P 8 "
This newspaper is printed on recycled newsprint
Biker, truck collide
Karen Blankenship of New Braunfels was struck by a truck while peddling on her mountain bike on the 1-35 service road yesterday afternoon near Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union. Blankenship was taken by New Braunfels EMS personnel to McKenna Memorial Hospital where she was treated and released with minor injuries. (Right photo) Emergency personnel work to make sure Blankenship's neck will not move before transporting her to McKenna.
Heratd-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
Two Guadalupe County Democrats announce move to Republican side
By BOB THAXTON
Special to the Herald-Zeitung
SEGUIN - Guadalupe County Distnct Judge Dwight E. Peschel and Distnct Attorney W.C. “Bud" Kirkendall have announced that they are changing their political affiliation to the Republican Party.
They addressed a gathering this week at Guadalupe County Republican headquarters in the Plaza Building where they were welcomed to the GOP by County Chairman Ed Baxter, former Chairman Tom Schoolcraft, and former state Rep. Henry Fletcher.
After the event in Seguin, they traveled to Austin where Gov. George W. Bush, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, and State Chairman Tom Pauken welcomed more than 20 distnct, county and local officeholders switching parties.
“I’m very grateful for their decision lining up with the true 'People's party,’" Fletcher told the local gathering. “We know that the so-called ‘people’s party' has left the people," he said, recounting his own change of affiliation "six or seven years ago" after serving in the Texas Legislature as a Democrat.
Fletcher said conservatives no longer have any place to go other than the Republican Party, and Baxter concurred, saying conservative officeholders like Kirkendall and Peschel hadn’t left the Democratic Party but rather the party had left them "I think the Democratic Party left them some time ago," Baxter said.
Peschel announced that he would seek re-election in 1996 as a Republican. Formerly an assistant distnct attorney on Kirkendall's staff, Peschel won the Democratic nomination for judge of the 25th Distnct in a party primary
Fraser, Kahlig to appear before Judge Joe Dibrell
Judge may rule on suit in today’s trial
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
Mayor Paul E. Fraser Jr. and Gary Kahlig will appear in district court today in a trial before Judge Joe Dibrell.
Dibrell may rule on the lawsuit Gary Kahlig filed against Fraser on Fnday, June IO.
Witnesses have been subpeonaed by the distnct clerk to appear at the trial. No jury will be present
Kahlig alleged in his suit that election irregulanties had made the May 7 election invalid.
Among the allegations were that illegal votes had been cast for Fraser in the Dist. 4 election.
Kahlig ran against Fraser in that election.
City to have another hotel in near future
runoff in April, 1992 and subsequently was appointed to the post by Gov. Ann Richards. He was elected to a full four-year term in November, 1992.
“It was not an easy decision nor made in haste,” Peschel told the local gathenng. “But we, the people of Texas, have always been conservative, and the Republican Party best represents that philosophy today."
Peschel said a bipartisan group of supporters worked for his election in 1992 and had pledged their continued support in 1996. “They know that I will be the same person tomorrow that I was yesterday, working to do the best job I can as a judge, representing all the people in the 25th Distnct," Peschel said.
Kirkendall said that for many years people in Texas and the 25th Distnct w ith conservative beliefs like himself had found like-minded people in the Democratic Party. "Today, as demonstrated in the last several elections, conservatives have largely entered the Republican Party to such an extent that the political views that I hold so dear are much more adequately reflected by membership in the Republican Party," he said.
Kirkendall also said that he hoped Texas someday would have nonpartisan elections for judicial branch candidates including prosecutors and judges. "Many of the requirements of these offices transcend party."
Pauken told the Austin gathenng that Texas is becoming a Republican state "Our party is making significant inroads throughout the state, particularly in rural and medium-size counties which traditionally have voted Republican for the top of the ticket while re-electing Democrats to local office.
"What we are seeing is a fundamental realignment here in Texas," Pauken said.
The suit asks that either I) Kahlig be declared the winner of the election or 2) the election be declared void and a new election be held.
The other possible outcome is that Kahlig’s suit will be found invalid.
Fraser and Kahlig came before the distnct court on Jan. 25 requesting a summary judgment from Dibrell. That would have brought the lawsuit to a quick resolution.
The judge refused to rule at that time.
Name of hotel chain not yet determined
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
Another hotel will spnng up to house New Braunfels tourists in the near future, said Andrew Ozuna of Great American Companies. A hotel is planned for the tract of land on 1-35 behind the new McDonald’s (1-35 near Walnut) by Great American in partnership Victor Botrie of Houston.
“The tract is about 2.56 acres, about 18,500 square feet,” said Ozuna. The hotel is planned to have 150 rooms. What brand of hotel it will be has yet to be determined.
The partnership owns several “pads” or adjoining properties to the hotel tract. They want to build a restaurant on one of the pads. “It will be a sit-down breakfast type of restaurant,” said Ozuna.
A schedule for the hotel’s construction is not yet solidified, but “the timetable is ASAP,” said Ozuna.
It’s no secret that New Braunfels is host to a multitude of tourists in the summer. A hotel room is hard to come by during the peak tourist times. Does the city need more hotels?
"During the summer we could use more hotels — no ifs, ands or buts," said Jim Scheele,
Jr. of the New Braunfels Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Not only does New Braunfels need hotels, but a certain type of hotel would help boost the convention trade, said Scheele.
"There’s not one hotel in New Braunfels that can handle a convention of 500 people," he said.
To house a convention, the hotel needs to have a large enough meeting room and, ideally, a restaurant.
"We can now handle the group of 50, 75, 150," said Scheele.
Conventions can mean a real boost to the local economy, especially during the leaner “off-season" times. “We’d certainly like to have a bigger piece of the pie,” said Scheele.
New Braunfels can be appealing as convention destination because of the lower taxes, lower crime rate and casual atmosphere, said Scheele.
In July New Braunfels hotels, bed & breakfasts etc. are 96.6 percent full, said Scheele. But that figure falls off sharply in the off-season so that the yearly average occupancy is only 50.1 percent.
So there’s a desire for a hotel in New Braunfels and developer is ready to invest in one. Why not just build it? If you want your hotel to be a nationally known chain it turns out to be not so simple.
The hotel chains, such as Quality Inn, Holiday Inn, etc., can choose their locations. So developers and cities court the hotel chains.
Hotel chains have an equation for accepting or rejecting a certain location, said Becky O’Rourke of Choice Hotels International, which manages Clarion, Quality, Comfort, Sleep, Friendship and Rode way Inns, and Econo Lodge.
They look for two "demand generators’’ such as a tourist destination, a university, airport, convention center, etc., said O’Rourke. "There has to be a reason for people coming in and out of a particular spot,” she said.
Retama will be additional attraction
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
Put Saturday, May 20 on your calendar. That’s when Retama Raceway will hold the New Braunfels Stakes, said Retama Marketing Director Joe Straus III. “In the fall when we’re running the quarter horses during Wurstfest — we’ll tTy to tie in with that as well,” he said.
The new horse racing facility will open its gates April 7, said Straus. Naming the New Braunfels Stakes will be the beginning of a friendly and mutually profitable relationship between Retama and New Braunfels. “They’re very interested in working with the Chamber of Commerce,” said Jim Scheele of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Packages with New Braunfels hotels, restaurants and the racetrack are possible joint efforts.
“Retama will be another year-round attraction for New Braunfels," said Scheele. Retama offers a new type of night-time amenity for New Braunfels tourists, he said
“We’re just as close a drive for the summer tourists in New Braunfels as for the convention tourists downtown," said Straus. That played a big role in selecting their location, he said. Being on the 1-35 corridor was a key factor.
Retama wants to appeal to a broad spectrum of age groups, said Straus. He believes the night time races in the spring and fall will attract a younger crowd, while the traditional daytime races will pull in a different audience.
Many developers are thinking Retama's close proximity to New Braunfels will bring more hotels and restaurants to the city.
‘Thgr*’» not one hotel in Now Braunfels that can handla a convention of SOO people.'
- Jim Scheele, Jr. Convention & Visitors Bureau _GNBCC
Just as in any other real estate, it's “location, location, location," said Scheele.
What the decision really boils down to is a number called “revenue per available room." "That’s the key number that will make or break the decision," said O’Rourke.
Several factors go into figuring revenue per available room how many rooms, the rate per room, amenities, non-room spaces — but most importantly occupancy rate.
"The number one reason a hotel will or will not move into a community is the occupancy level,” said Scheele.
O’Rourke would not divulge the minimum occupancy rate Choice Hotels would accept in order to build “That rate is a closely guarded secret among many of the hotel chains,” said Scheele.
Victor Borne and Great American, the developers hoping to put another hotel in New Braunfels, appear to have their work cut out for them.The Marketplace Classifieds - One-stop shopping five days a weekI