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Community helps Dripping Springs Christmas tree lot find new, familiar home after COVID-19 changes

Frosty's Christmas Trees has operated in Dripping Springs for more than 25 years. For the first time in 17 years, the lot will move back to its original location.

DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas — Twenty-seven years ago, Carol Phillips and Van Granger moved to Dripping Springs and saw the local Lions Club operating a small Christmas tree lot. The following year, they opened Frosty's Christmas Trees to increase the number of trees Dripping Springs residents could choose from.

"We started out, I think, with selling just a few hundred trees," Phillips said. "Of course, the community has grown exponentially as well over the last 20-some-odd years, so we've tried to keep up with that."

For 17 years, Frosty's operated at the corner of U.S. 290 and Ranch Road 12. This year, the City declined to lease that corner to Frosty's, citing drainage concerns and COVID-19 changes.

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"We are limiting commercial use of the area due to COVID safety precautions, and a COVID testing unit will be operating on [Triangle Park] and is expected to be there the next few months," Michelle Fischer, the city administrator, said in an email. "Also, the City has concerns with the drainage and is having it evaluated."

The City offered other locations to Phillips, but they could not agree on a price. 

"I really kind of had resigned myself to well, you know, we're not going to do it this year," Phillips said. "I've been posting on Facebook and the response from the community was just incredible."

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Phillips and Granger both posted in Dripping Springs Facebook groups saying the lot may not happen. The posts ended up receiving hundreds of comments asking how to help and offering potential spots to set up the lot this year.

As it turned out, the owner of the original Lions Club lot reached out on one of the posts too.

"We were fortunate enough to talk with the owner of this lot," Phillips said. "That should work out. You know, we still have some details to work out, but l think it'll happen ... I don't know if they have plans, you know, what their plans are for next year, but at least for this year, it provides us a home."

Phillips plans to open Frosty's Christmas Trees this year the Friday after Thanksgiving at Ranch Road 12 and Mercer Street. Typically, the lot will have hundreds of trees available; Phillips estimated no more than 800. However, with ordering the trees from Washington state so late this year, Phillips expects to order only one truckload.

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