Lake Arrowhead State Park visitors boost local economy

Lake Arrowhead State Park visitors boost local economy

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Right now, it's peak season for campers at Lake Arrowhead State Park.

During this time of year, around 50,000 families visit the area while also boosting the Wichita falls economy.

Henry Florsheim with the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce said since everyone pays sales tax, those visiting are helping the city provide services to those who live there and those just passing through.

The Meinhofers, a Florida family staying at the park, said supporting local businesses where they set up camp is a big part of how they live, but they are not your typical park guest.

"Three years on the road since October 2015.  Well, I guess we're coming up on that." said Jessica Meinhofer.

She and her husband, Robert, and their two kids travel the country in their RV.

While every stop is different, one thing remains the same.

"We like to go to local establishments," said Robert. "We have such an appreciation for what goes on in the communities."

Especially when it comes to the number of mom and pop shops the area has to offer.

"You don't have the massive corporate chains on every corner.  You have the heart and soul of the community," he said.

Like 8th Street Coffee House, a place they've stopped by twice already.

Since the couple loves coffee, another stop they plan on making during their stay is Odd Duck Coffee.

Like the couple loves their coffee, the park loves their visitors.

Keith Gauthier, Lake Arrowhead State Park Superintendent, said not only do campers and those visiting the park daily help keep it open, they also have a huge economic impact.

"They're spending that money by eating at local restaurants, by buying local products, and by getting the incidentals fixed," he said.

Like fueling up and changing flat tires.  While it is good for the tire shops bottom line, unfortunately, a new tire is also on the Meinhofer's list.

"Part of life on the road is you have to maintain your house as you're going along, and I am going to have to get two new tires for the travel trailer," said Robert.

He said he has already called around to a couple of local tire shops.

So, whether it is their destination or a pit stop, families like the Meinhofers are coming and bringing a boost.

"They're coming from all states.  They're coming from other countries.  They're really coming from everywhere," said Gauthier.

This year, they will have anywhere between 85,000 to 100,000 park guests.

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