b'Snow is an unusual sight to see at most Texas parks, but a blast of cold, wintry weather in Februarycreated headaches for park owners and millions of others in The Lonestar State. Texas Park Owners Deal with Blastof Icy, Wintry Weather In FebruaryThe record cold weather that brought snow, single- treme, we have been issuing refunds if we cant arrange todigit temperatures and power outages in February to credit their deposit to a future date. We have also had manymany areas of Texas also disrupted travel and sent park guests who needed or wanted to stay over their intendedoperators scrambling to repair frozen water lines. dates because road conditions are pretty hazardous.Teri Blaschke, who co-owns Hidden Valley RV Parkin Mark Blaschke, meanwhile, kept busy repairing frozenVon Ormy, near San Antonio, with her husband, Mark, faucets, even though they were insulated, and making repairssaid shed never experienced anything like it during her to faucets damaged by RVers. Teri Blaschke said some RVersmore than three decades in the Lone Star State. tried things like hammering the faucet to break the ice in the Some parks, like the North Texas Jellystone Park, wereThis was the worst Ive ever experienced and Im a lineonly to cause the entire pipe to burstor using a blow able to open their doors to community members in need. transplant to Texas from back in 1985, she said. My 36 torch to melt the ice which, in the case of PVC piping, meltsyears here have only seen one deeper snowfall and two the PVC. stone Parkexperienced both short and long periodsother small snow events. Nine degrees for several nights The Blaschkes had to turn off the water to different sec- without power, according to General Manager Steveand never going above freezing for over 100 hours is a tions of their park at different times to repair a total of six or Stafford. However, he said the park was able to opennew one on us San Antonians. seven pipe breaks, but as of mid-February, they had not ex- some of its cabins for local residents who did notThe record cold weather and the ensuing blackouts perienced any power outages. have power at all.prompted many travelers to postpone their plans and Power outages were widespread across Texas, however, al- We did the best we could to keep our guests com-forced others to stay put. though the duration of the outages varied widely, even in the fortableduringtheirtimewithus,Marcie Pur-We had many cancellations and several postpone- same city. viance, the parks events, operations, and marketingments, Blaschke said. Since the weather was so ex- In Burleson, just south of Fort Worth, the North Texas Jelly- Weathercontinued on page 32NPS Sees a Third Fewer Visitors Christine Taylor Named Partnerin 2020 Due in Part to Pandemic At New Yorks Towne Law FirmOutdoor experiences provided refuge from Additionalinformation Christine Taylor, a former associate of Thethe pandemic for 237 million visitors to Amer- from the 2020 visitation re- Towne Law Firm (TLF), has been named as aicas national parks in 2020, according to the port includes: principal of the firm, according to a release fromNational Park Service (NPS).Recreation visitor hours The Towne Law Firm.Yet, the number represents a 28% decrease dippedfrom1.4billionin Taylor has transitioned her career to pro-from the previous year due largely to temporary 2019 to 1.05 billion in 2020, a vide comprehensive legal services to variouspark closures and restrictions implemented in 26% decrease. smallbusinesses,withaspecificfocusonresponse to the coronavirus pandemic, accord- 15parkssetanew campgrounds and RV parks. Her life experi-ing to a press release. recreation visitation record enceassociatedwiththreecampgrounds,Although overall visitation dropped, several in 2020. across two franchises, has enabled her to pro-parksexperiencedrecordcrowdsandwel-Five parks broke a visitation record they set vide a unique perspective across a wide vari-comed new visitors.in 2019. etyofservicestoherclients,includingThis past year has reminded us how impor-Blue Ridge Parkway claimed the title of the seasonal licenses, waivers, employment con- Christine Taylortant national parks and public lands are to over- most-visited site in the national park system. tracts, real estate services, and litigation serv-all wellbeing, said NPS Deputy Director ShawnGreat Smoky Mountains National Park main- ices as needed. A former professional opera singer, she began herBenge. Throughout the country, national parks tained its long-running position as the most vis- career working with a variety of production companies and movieprovided close-to-home opportunities for peo- ited National Park in 2020a position it has stations, the release states.ple to spend much needed time outdoors for held since 1944. Grand Canyon National Park Christine has to be one of the top three legal minds I have ever cometheir physical and psychological health. dropped from the second-most visited national across, noted James Towne, a principal partner at the firm. Her repu-Thecoronaviruspandemichasaffected parka position it held for 30 yearsto the tation has, in a few short years, become a national one, where she dom-nearly every National Park Service operation, sixth most-visited. Yellowstone National Park inates the hospitality industry she serves, being invited to appear as aand parks continue to work with public health moved from the sixth most-visited national park presenter at numerous national and regional conventions and eventsofficialstonavigatechangingconditions.A in 2019 to the second most-visiteda position which service her clients interests. She has done this through her re-maximum 66 of the 423 parks of the National it has not held since 1947. markable intelligence and with her defiance and determination to suc-Park Service were fully closed for two monthsFour parks began reporting official visitor ceed in her work and her career. Simply stated, she is a remarkable youngor more. The majority of parksparticularly statistics for the first time: Boston Harbor Is- woman well deserving of further recognition.those with outdoor spacesremained acces- landsNationalRecreationArea,DwightD. Taylor joined the firm in 2018 and has refined her practice to focussible to the public. Just a handful of historic and Eisenhower Memorial, Katahdin Woods, Wa- primarily on the hospitality industry, serving clients across the entirecultural parks, primarily historic homes with lim- ters National Monument, and Valles Caldera northeast, as well as nationally. Taylor, who originally planned to focusited indoor space, remain closed. National Preserve.WCM her career on entertainment law, attended UCLA School of Law whereshe received her J.D. WCMWOODALLSCM.com April 2021-3'