Tube Float

Another Parker Tube Float is in the books. From the looks of things, it all went about as smoothly as could be expected. This was the fourth time for the new route from Buckskin Mountain State Park to Pirate’s Den at County Park, and it looks like the Parker Regional Chamber of Commerce & Tourism is getting this thing down to a science.

The Tube Float requires the involvement of many government entities, including law enforcement, public safety and emergency services. It’s remarkable to see how they all coordinate their efforts to make things run smoothly. Congratulations and a big ovation for everyone involved.

This smooth operation comes after some trial and error in the early days.

The first year of the new route, 2017, saw a massive traffic jam on Riverside Drive. At one point, traffic was backed up from the entrance to Buckskin State Park past Sundance to Fox’s Resort. Clearly, there had to be a better way of doing this.

The following year, 2018, the Chamber contracted Blasian Secured Executive Transport to operate shuttle busses from County Park to Buckskin Park. Float participants would park at County Park, take the bus to the starting line, inflate their floats, and then head down the river to County Park.

The trouble was some “wildcat” shuttle operators were there, and some of their vehicles were not in good shape, and/or they were overcrowded. Someone called the Arizona Department of Public Safety, which sent a pair of troopers to check things out. The DPS troopers ordered shuttle service halted until they could inspect all the vehicles. They cited some vehicles, and they pulled a few out of service.

It’s worth noting none of Blasian’s vehicles were cited or pulled from service.

In 2019, everything ran like clockwork. All the parties involved understood the new route and the logistics involved, and everyone acted accordingly. It was a site to behold.

The Tube Float takes a lot of work to organize, and it requires the involvement of many people and different entities. It’s the major fundraiser for the Chamber. They provide a lot of services to businesses in the Parker area. Among other things, they helped guide local businesses through the downturns of the coronavirus pandemic.

After not having a Tube Float in 2020 due to the pandemic, they really needed one this year.

The Tube Float is one of the big events of the summer. It brings a lot of people and business to the area. This isn’t mentioned very often, but you never know where this could lead.

Like you, I’ve heard many stories of people who came to the area on vacation and later came back permanently because they liked it here. They sometimes brought new businesses to the area, and they helped grow our local economy.

With special events that bring in a lot of people, like the Tube Float and the off-road races, it’s important that things run smoothly. That’s the sort of thing that makes people want to come back to Parker.

Do you recall what the road to Avi Suquilla Airport was like before the Colorado River Indian Tribes repaired it? If you were flying into Parker for an event, what would you have thought of Parker after seeing that road? As they say, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.

We hope the Tube Float continues to bring in a lot of visitors, and we hope the Chamber and the other organizers can keep it running smoothly. You never know who might decide to participate or where it might lead.

Who knows? Maybe the next Rose Acre Farms might come here after a company boss participates in the Tube Float and decides he likes it here. It could happen!

Here’s to more Tube Floats in the future, and may it continue to be a smooth, well-run operation.

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