Wow! What a season. Carina and I have had such a great time in our first season as the new publisher and editor of the Winter Texan Times. Having grown up with this paper, my feelings for our Winter Texan community have grown from appreciation to admiration to love over the years, and we are so humbly grateful for the opportunity to continue what my Dad and Grandmother built for all or you. But, I’ll get back to that in a bit.
Let me start by pointing out some changes to our format for this final issue of the season.
Due to the rapidly changing landscape across the county in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are deviating from what we would normally bring you in an issue of the Winter Texan Times.
We usually pride ourselves in being different from the dailies and weeklies out there that must cover the hard stories. We enjoy being your community newspaper and allowing ourselves the freedom to cover the “good news” and all the fun times we are sharing in the Winter Texan community.
As we have been monitoring the situation and making decisions about our office operation, our staff and their health, our thoughts and prayers have also been on you, our Winter Texans and the additional vulnerability this virus holds for your age group. Because of that you will see some differences in today’s issue as well as on our website at www.WinterTexanTimes.com.
First, we felt it we should stop publishing events happening during this period when we should all be practicing wise social distancing practices. So, we pulled our calendars from our website last week (guidance developed a bit too late to change last week’s issue before it went to press), and we are limiting this week’s calendars in this issue to those events still scheduled starting with the end of the current Hidalgo County order.
These orders are likely to continue to change and be extended, so please stay abreast of that information on our website and plan the remainder of your stay as is appropriate to conditions and guidance.
Second, we have decided to commit a bit of this final issue to how this virus is impacting the Winter Texan community as we are coming to the close of another season.
Last, we are publishing a special supplement that was provided to us by one of our publishing partners. The center 12 pages of today’s issue are a special pull-out section of the paper that may answer some lingering questions, and certainly repeat some of the guidance and advice that we have received, but we feel bears repeating until we all get it.
Monitoring the Situation
As this is our last scheduled issue for the season, there won’t be another Winter Texan Times to bring you further updates and direction as it comes out, but we will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed on our website at www.WinterTexanTimes.com. As we learn of changes that affect our Winter Texan community, we will share that information as we receive it.
Visit our website often to watch for new updates on our front page and subscribe to our email newsletter so that you’ll receive a weekly summary of new stories found on our site. You can subscribe by following the “subscribe free” button at the top of our web page and filling out the form at the end of that link.
In the coming days, we will also be launching a section on our website devoted to what you can do to remain active and support your community. We will be looking for ways you can stay connected and active while social distancing, and ideas to support local businesses that are having to adapt their business models in order to stay afloat. Here we will also be sharing area promotions, curb-side menus, mail order retail options, gift card ideas, and more that you may take advantage of to continue to support your favorite local establishments.
As I started out, I want to thank you our readers, park owners and managers, activity directors, and Wintertainers for the great community you have built here in the Rio Grande Valley. Without this community – without you – Carina and I would not have this opportunity to work and play in your community and bring your community newspaper to you every week from October through March.
Our first season as the new Publisher and Editor of the Winter Texan Times has brought plenty of excitement. While the Winter Texan Times is not new to us, the change in role has certainly been eventful.
It has been a pleasure to bring you community updates about how they are expanding amenities and bringing more to the community to do. And we love to hear the feedback we receive while out and about.
Everyone has been so welcoming to us as we have joined you at jams, shows, expos, races, tournaments, and more. We have enjoyed watching all the fun and creative ways our Winter Texans gather and just know how to have a good time. It is validating to hear the compliments and to know that we are bringing something of interest and value to you in the Winter Texan Times.
Just when we thought we had packed in as much fun as we could into one season, we had the best Valley Star Awards ever – and that couldn’t have happened without our Wintertainers; you, their fans; and our activity directors keeping their schedules jam packed with great entertainment.
Thank you for the great season.
As I opened, Carina and I do love our Winter Texan friends and we pray for your health and safety as you travel back north.
Stay safe and healthy, and hurry back next fall. We can’t wait to do this again!