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Winter Texans who make seasonal visits to the Rio Grande Valley may be changing to year-round residents by purchasing recreational park trailers or manufactured housing, according to a report in the Valley Morning Star.
“I started working here about four years ago and the sales of park models has doubled ever since,” said Bonnie Braun, sales director for Manufactured Home Communities Inc. at Fun-N-Sun in San Benito. “I expect those numbers to increase because some of our residents already told us they are coming back next season to buy park models.”
Braun said she sold 16 park models in 2003 and 31 in 2004. “So far this year,” she said, referring to January and February, “we sold 15 units.”
According to the paper, many snowbirds have tired of making the long drives in their RVs. Convenience and economics are other reasons that some Winter Texans say they are extending their visits to the Valley.
Some are now buying park models or mobile homes with the intention of either settling in the Valley or staying longer, park operators said.
Bill and Shirley Bonning own a park model at the Circle RV Park in San Benito. They have been coming to the Valley for 21 years and have stayed at the same park ever since.
“We first started coming to visit one of our sons who married a woman from San Benito,” Bill Bonning said. “We bought a park model and also owned a travel trailer.”
But the traveling started to get the better of the Bonnings and their future plans are to stay year-round at the park.
“We raised six children and always took them with us on vacation,” she said. “But we’re now thinking of moving down here for good.”