Report: #1149548

Complaint Review: Gruene River Co.

  • Submitted: Sun, May 25, 2014
  • Updated: Mon, May 26, 2014
  • Reported By: Parker — College Station Texas
  • Gruene River Co.
    1404 Gruene Rd
    Gruene, Texas

Gruene River Co. Gruene River Company scam, ticket threat, police involvement threat Gruene Texas

*Author of original report: Fee is only to people who rent equipment

*Consumer Comment: Here ya go

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Here is a copy of the FTC report I have already filed for this business:

I found a parking map on the city of New Braunfels website that showed free parking near this business.  I wanted to get in the river and float back to the home we were staying in by the river.  When we arrived, we confirmed that the parking was free and started walking toward the river.  We were approached by employees of Gruene River Co. That were distributing inner tubes to their customers as they walked to the river.  We already had our own, so we walked past them.  They approached us and told us to stop.  They told us that a new law passed by the city of New Braunfels required us to go up to the office (they pointed toward the Gruene River Co. building) and purchase a wristband (for a "couple bucks") if we wanted to get in the river and that the city was collecting a certain portion of the wristband sales.  I questioned this, because I was not aware of any such law.  I asked how many dollars the wristbands cost and they refused to answer directly.  The employees then told me that there were police officers in the river that would ticket me if I did not have a wristband. They told me that there was no way that I could get into the river for free, which I now understand is an outright lie.  Eventually, they realized that I was not going to pay them to get in the river and said that "it's late in the day and the police probably won't be patrolling the river so [I'd] probably be fine."  These employees clearly used the threat of law enforcement to attempt to force me to purchase their services.  While I refused to pay, I fear that many others would be succeptable to this kind of lie and have likely already been a victim.


That explains it pretty well.  They tried to make me think I'd be breaking the law if I didn't purchase services from their business.  It should be noted that a fee for using the river was proposed by the city council, but the law was struck down and never went in to effect.

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#1 Author of original report

Fee is only to people who rent equipment

AUTHOR: Parker - ()

Here's an article from February 24:  


After weeks of discussion and preliminary votes, the New Braunfels City Council decided to nix the controversial “river fee” on Monday night.

At the meeting, which was standing-room only, several people spoke about why they were against the proposed $5 fee to access Prince Solms and Himman Island Parks, both of which have direct access to the Comal River.

Some speakers questioned the legality of charging a fee to access a Texas river.

Mayor Gale Pospisil said it was the City’s right to charge an entrance fee for the parks but questioned the use of said money to go towards the River Activities Fund.

No one decided to speak in favor of the fees.

Just before 8 p.m., the City Council voted unanimously to reject the motion.

The Council did approve (on the first reading) the river management fee which requires tubing outfitters to charge users a $1.25 for a wristband. It will be up to the outfitter to make sure their customers are wearing city-issued wristbands when entering the City Tube Chute, Prince Solms Park, Hinman Island Park or using public exits on the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers.


So there is a fee in effect, but only if you are renting equipment from an outfitter.  The council considered a $5 fee for non-renters, but it was not approved.  Since I was not attempting to rent any equipment (we already had our own) and was parked in a public area attempting to access a public entry, the point remains valid.  These guys tried to force me to pay them money under threat of law enforcement involvement even though I had every right to do what I was doing.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Here ya go

AUTHOR: Stacey - ()


Council Gives Initial Approval to Outfitter Wristband System Changes & Increase to RIver Management Fee

Published on Mar 12, 2014 / Local News

(New Braunfels, TX)  --  Wristbands are nothing new to river outfitters, but some changes to the way the city administers those wristbands will soon begin. 

City Parks and Recreation Director Stacey Dicke presented the ordinance to amend the wristband code to City Council at Monday night’s meeting, saying that they want to have a better accounting of visitors to the river this year. 

According to estimates from local outfitters and city officials, that number could be around 164-thousand people. 

With the initial approval of the wristbands, Council also agreed to a 25-cent increase to the River Management Fee (which is charged to tubers by way of outfitters). 

City Manager Robert Camareno told City Council that the original $1 River Management Fee instituted in 2001 has only had one other increase.  That was back in 2008 when the fee went to $1.25.  

He added that, based on the current level of collections of those fees, the 25-cent increase approved Monday night will generate an extra 41-thousand dollars, which will basically cover the city’s cost to purchase the wristbands in the first place. 

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