GEORGETOWN, Texas — Two popular swimming attractions in Hays County are now closed for swimming: both Jacob's Well and now Blue Hole.
The Garcia family from McAllen was one of the few who pulled into the parking lot at Blue Hole Regional Park Tuesday to see find out it was closed.
"It’s kind of a disappointment," said Julissa Popovich-Garcia.
She said they are staying in Central Texas for the next four days.
"We are going to look for something else," she said.
A few miles away, Jacob's Well is also closed for swimming. There is no water flowing downstream at Cypress Creek. The conditions there are caused by the drought. Richard Shaver, director of Parks and Recreation with the City of Wimberley, said that is the same water that flows to Blue Hole.
"It’s more than a bummer,” said Shaver.
He said they closed swimming because of higher levels of bacteria.
"Whatever kind of parallels that we would be seeing from there, would be happening here as well. So, algae growth, higher levels in bacteria. This is first time we had to close Blue Hole during a swimming season, to my knowledge," he said.
There will be no swimming for at least two weeks, causing 2,000 cancelations.
"We can see over 60,000 people visit in a short three months. And with closing for pretty much, maybe the entire rest of the swim season, it is not going to help us out," said Shaver.
That impact can trickle down to local businesses. According to the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association, between Jacob's Well and Blue Hole Regional Park, thousands of people come to the area in the summer to swim. Normally, it brings in million of dollars to the local economy.
Cheyenne Jowers is the manager at yogurt shop The Wooden Spoon in Downtown Wimberley.
"A lot of wet bathing suits track through here. A lot of kids who come in after they've just got swimming, actually a lot of families too, big groups of families that have gone to Jacob's Well or Blue Hole will come through here," said Jowers.
Jowers said that could impact their sales with no swimmers, but she is hoping people who visit Downtown Wimberley for shopping will make up for it.
Hiking remains open at both parks.
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