RV Parks Pop Up During South Texas Oil Boom
Watch today's Featured Video, courtesy of KGNS-TV, Laredo, Texas, about the following story.
There is a surge of business in the small South Texas towns of Carrizo Springs, Asherton and Catarina that continues taking people there by surprise.
It’s been about two years since oil and natural gas drilling began in the south Texas area but in the recent months the opportunity for drilling has exploded paying off big for communities surrounding Laredo.
The once quiet town of Carrizo Springs, just northwest of Laredo, hasn't been the same in the last few months.
Exploration of the Eagle Ford Shale has created an economic boom no one-saw coming.
“The restaurants are all filled up by 5 in the morning, at noon, even at 10 o’clock. It’s all filled up," says Ralph Salinas, the town's mayor.
In 2008, Petrohawk Energy drilled the first well, at the time obtaining about 30 permits.
By the end of last year more than 1,000 drilling permits had been issued.
It left small town south Texas areas like Carrizo Springs, Asherton and Catarina, full of tractor-trailers and large work trucks.
But no one's complaining.
“It feels pretty good to be in an active community. It’s improving our sales tax and hopefully we can make improvements in our little town," says the mayor.
“It’s been fantastic.”
Mark ward, owner of the BBQ Shack, opened his doors six months ago hoping to cash in on the opportunity.
He’s been successful and is even adding more items to his menu.
“Everything but ribs don’t have those yet but I’ve got a guy coming from up north that’s gona show me," he said.
For the estimated 2,000 people moving to the area, many from out of state, finding a place to live has been difficult. Every room is rented out.
Not knowing just how long the boom will last, builders have been reluctant to create more housing, so many are turning to the alternative.
Just over 2 years ago you could find very few RV parks like this one but now..
Now it seems like you cant throw a rock without hitting another RV park.
Bill Waller's oil services company is now also building RV parks.
“Its been phenomenal built this park and opened it in January it has 65 spots and its 100% full. We filled the park within two weeks.”
And says he's estimating to be here for eight to 10 years.
Waller says business in other parts of the state has been slow, so for now.
“This is home.”
Over two dozen counties are expected to profit from the drilling.
A study done about the economic impact of the eagle ford shale concluded that close to $2.9 billion in total economic output was generated last year.
Over 12,000 jobs are estimated to have been created in the counties.
And over $500 million in salaries and benefits had been paid to workers.