Municipal Park in Texas Could Add 20 Cabins
According to the recently completed feasibility study, Twin Coves Park could quickly become a regional draw and a solid revenue generator for Flower Mound, Texas – if it's done correctly.
Last week, Brian Trusty of Pros Consulting presented the study's findings to Flower Mound's Parks, Arts and Library Services (PALS) Board, which then recommended the study to the town council for approval, the Plano Star Courier reported.
In 2010, the town of 50,000 located north of Dallas-Fort Worth, entered into a 25-year lease with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the 234-acre park, which is located off Grapevine Lake, west of Murrell Park. Since then, the town has spent about $500,000 on park renovations, including repairing a road into the park, restroom upgrades and general cleanup. The town will also repair boat ramps to the lake with help from a matching grant.
With the feasibility study complete, the town will have a better idea of what further steps to take.
Among the findings was heavy emphasis on cabins and RV slips are the key factors to making Twin Coves a popular destination and, ultimately, a profitable one.
"Cabins are without a doubt the most popular overnight accommodations facility at this time and have been over the last five years," Trusty said.
Trusty recommended a plan for 20 cabins and 25 RV slips. Trusty also recommended utility upgrades for 50-amp electrical and water/wastewater hookup sites for the RV slips.
With the emphasis on RVs, Trusty said it's crucial for the town to pay close attention to RV routes so they won't cause congestion in the nearby neighborhoods. Trusty suggested directional signs and online routes for a least-intrusive way of getting into the park.
Trusty also cautioned against tent camping, adding that organized group camping might work but only if it's separate from the cabin and RV area.
In addition, Trusty recommended several amenities throughout the park to draw in even more people and bring in more money through rentals. Those include three large pavilions to hold 50 people or more, as well as a nine-hole disc golf course, kayaking, canoeing, bicycling and fishing. Trusty said a concession building and a playground are other recommendations.
As far as infrastructure, Trusty recommended nearby parking for the cabins and an office/restroom building. He said the infrastructure should cost about $2.8 million.
However, Trusty said the park could easily pay for itself in the following years without further expenses, except for regular maintenance.
Trusty said he expects the park to have peak usage in the summer months. He said Twin Coves' annual occupancy should be around 35% in its first year but could reach 50% by the fifth year.
Based on the market study Pros Consulting performed, Trusty said about 3.9 million people in the Metroplex participate in the types of activities being proposed for Twin Coves.
"Basically what we're doing is backing into what we estimate to be the annual visitation to that site," Trusty said. "After we did the analysis, that came out to be about 32,000 people a year, which is very reasonable for a site of that size and location."
Trusty said Twin Coves could have a surplus of about $12,000 in the first year, which is a 102% cost recovery. He said the cost recovery could reach 140% by the fifth year. Trusty recommended putting half of the cost recovery into an endowment account to help pay for major repairs and upgrades in the future.
Board member Elizabeth Lumpkins said she would like to see the option of Flower Mound residents getting free day use.
It's important to me that any time we spend taxpayer money on parks that it be free for Flower Mound residents," Lumpkins said.