Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Text Size

20171116 Pine to Palm Pickleball HM IMG 2955

Pine to Palm resident Dave Gemmell enjoys playing on one of the two new pickle ball courts at the resort, which also built 20 new shuffleboard courts for residents.

There are new “toys” to welcome Winter Texans back at many parks and resorts across the Rio Grande Valley this year.

From new cooks and paved roads to amenities for furry friends, Winter Texan parks are investing in their property and welcoming back their guests with several improvements.

Residents of Pine to Palm RV Resort in Weslaco have brand new shuffleboard courts waiting to be broken in, as well as new two pickleball courts that were added due to the demands of that rapidly growing sport.

“We completely redeveloped our recreational court,” said Park Manager Gretchen Hovda. “We have a huge demand for shuffleboard but pickleball is growing rapidly so we decided to build two courts for our residents who enjoy it.”

Pickleball is played on a miniature sized tennis court and is a mixture of tennis, badminton and ping pong. According to the USA Pickleball Association, there are more than 15,000 indoor and outdoor pickleball courts in the United States, with at least one court in all 50 states. The organization estimates that there are more than 2.5 million pickleball players in the country and it is exploding in popularity.

“It is the fastest growing sport in North America right now,” said Claude Bru, a Pine to Palm resident for 13 years. “I started playing in Winnipeg six years ago and love the new courts.”

20171116 Pine to Palm Pickleball HM IMG 2967

Pine to Palm's Jackie Bru hits a backhand shot while playing pickle ball on one of two new courts at the Weslaco resort.

Bru and two other couples introduced the sport to the park, which has 224 RV spaces and 222 mobile home lots. He said there are about 30 active pickleball members in the park and now that the courts are open that he expects that number to grow on a regular basis.

The park invested approximately $240,000 to remove the old shuffleboard courts and put in 20 new shuffleboard courts and the two pickleball courts.

“We have planned for this for a while because we know how much our residents enjoy these activities,” Hovda said. “The previous shuffleboard courts had been used for 40 years so it was time.”

Bit-O-Heaven RV and Mobile Home Park in Donna, with nearly 700 RV spaces and 155 mobile home lots completed two major projects over the summer, adding a remote control racing track and a fenced-in dog park.

“There's everything needed for you to walk your dog and take it out for a run. It's a fairly large dog park,” said Charlotte Campbell, one of three managers for the park. “There's water for them and everything to pick up after them. We also have people taking care of it and the ones who have animals really love it. Some of the dogs our residents have are rather large, so this is an area for them to take them for a good run and some exercise.”

Remote control racing is another activity that is quickly rising in popularity in the Winter Texan parks. Several parks have built a track ranging from drag racing lanes to dirt to grass to carpet tracks. League play at several parks are scheduled to begin this month and next.

Siesta Retirement Village in Weslaco has 410 mobile home lots and residents there are excited about a new pool being built for them. The old pool was removed and the new pool is 30 x 50 and includes a hot tub, fencing, lounge chairs and other pool furniture. The pool is currently still under construction but is scheduled to open for residents on Jan. 15.

Tom Clark at Sunshine RV Park in Harlingen said they spent the summer working on the large park's infrastructure. With nearly 1,500 lots (1,027 RV and 450 mobile home spaces) the park spent money focusing on repaving the many roads the park has to maintain.

“You can't do the roadwork when most of the residents are here, so that was a major project,” said Clark, the park manager. He added that the park spent about $100,000 on infrastructure, including resurfacing the jacuzzi and re-plastering the main pool.

Other parks had smaller items they focused on. Canyon Lake RV Resort’s acting park manager, Linda Richardson, a resident of the park for seven years, said there were no major projects worked on during the off-season, but they were tweaking some things.

“We've got a lot of new cooks,” she said. “We're trying different foods and different things for different nights of the week. That's going to be fun.”

Top News

  • Southern Comfort RV Park hosts Bocce tournaments

    20180315 Southern Comfort Bocce JPGWESLACO—The sport of bocce ball isn't going away anytime soon. In fact, the trend that's happening at the Encore RV resorts across the Rio Grande Valley might lay claim to the opposite.

    Southern Comfort RV Park, located at 1501 S Airport Dr. in Weslaco, has been running… Read More +

  • Nature photos displayed at Port Isabel Library

    Laguna Art League member Pat McGrath Avery will be displaying her photography at the Port Isabel Library throughout the month of March.

    Avery, an author and photographer, focuses on nature photography, especially the beautiful birds that live in or visit the Rio Grande Valley. In the 1970s, she brought her parents down for the winter and fell in love with the Texas… Read More +

  • Winter Texan Ambassadors Wanted

    FromthepublisherThis edition of the Winter Texan Times is our “Take Home Edition.” We invite all our Winter Texan readers to take extra copies of this edition with you when you head north so you can share them with your friends and family.

    Getting out and doing all the fun and interesting things… Read More +

  • Nature lovers from across the U.S. flock to the Rio Grande

    20180315 Estero Llano Grande Casey Balvert MOERING 0362One of the major attractions drawing visitors to the Rio Grande Valley is its varieties of birds and butterflies. The migration path of many of the flyers runs right through the Valley and that draws people not just from the U.S. but from many other countries in the world.

    Read More +

  • Swing Street Band delights Winter Texans

    20180315 Swing Street Big Band Dance MILLER IMG 4525Karen and Trevor Tripp moved in perfect harmony, seemingly without stress or strain as the Swing Street Band played “In the Mood.”

    The couple waltzed away as Robert Comeau and his orchestra played an evening of music that covered several decades at Aladdin… Read More +

  • Why the Rio Grande Valley?

    20180315 Sandcastles 111310Climate, friendly people, social activities appeal to Winter Texans

    Art connoisseurs have many reasons for liking a masterpiece. For some, it may be the colors, for others the art may “just speak to them.” Yet, for others there may be another reason something undefinable – or maybe for all… Read More +

  • Friends, laughs, good times highlight USA vs Canada softball

    20180315 US Canada Senior Softball MILLER IMG 5279Larry Boggs stood up, dressed in his patriotic red, white and blue shirt and shorts, held the megaphone (more like a miniphone) to his mouth and made one of several announcements.”

    “Today’s official attendance is 10,682,” said Boggs, whose goatee resembled that of Baseball… Read More +

  • Rio Grande Valley has first class entertainment

    20180315 Faith Family Freedom JB IMG 1281The Rio Grande Valley's Winter Texan scene isn't the quiet, gem in the rough secret that it once was.

    For the winter visitors, that's a good thing – especially when it comes to entertainment.

    More and more Wintertainers™ –… Read More +

  • The Valley is perfect for year-round golf

    20170208 GOLF PHOTOS Howling TrailsAround most of the country, golf takes some time off during the wintertime. When those months reach the Rio Grande Valley, however, golf is in full swing.
    Golf is a year-round sport in the Rio Grande Valley, and Winter Texans are finding plenty of time to… Read More +

  • Where can first-time visitors stay?

    20180315 ENCORE Sunshine RV Swimming PoolMany Winter Texans come to the Rio Grande Valley because they've been here before and love the weather, the chance to get outdoors in the winter to play golf, cycle, play shuffleboard and even take a swim in the pool. Some come down because they've visited friends or family before and decided… Read More +

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • All
  • Border
  • Charity
  • Free Health Care
  • Groceries
  • Grocery Stores
  • HEB
  • Immigration
  • Mission
  • Operation Lonestar
  • Ribbon Cutting
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Sharyland
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
load more hold SHIFT key to load all load all