East El Paso Christmas tree lot back after not opening last year due to COVID

Community

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A live Christmas tree lot located near the intersection of George Dieter and Montwood in the Planet Fitness parking lot is open for business after not being able to get permits to open last year.

The owner of El Paso Blessed Trees, Tina Rodriguez says she had already placed the order for the trees, when she found out she would not be able to open last year.

“We made the order, but we need to cancel, and I’m very sad but I’m glad to today we can open, and I’m a little scared because a lot of people don’t think that we can open this year,” Rodriguez shared.

According to a spokesperson for the City of El Paso, as of December 3, the City Planning and Inspections has issued four temporary placement permits for seasonal sales this year, compared to zero issued in 2020.

Rodriguez says her family has been selling trees in El Paso for over 20 years, and have opened multiple tree lots around El Paso in years past but this year out of fear of not having many customers she only opened one.

“We used to have 3 lots from Zaragoza, McRae, and here pretty scattered out, same thing we had to reduce it to one tent this year,” said Jose Cervin an employee who has been working at the tree lot’s for the past 10 years.

Cervin says business has been slow but they are anticipating for the first weekend in December to be their busiest of the season, but worry few people know they are back open.

“A lot of the new people don’t really know that we have less lots, or last year they didn’t see anything right and we might be the only ones here in El Paso so a lot of people it’s just not knowing that we’re here,” said Cervin.

Returning customer Elva Guerrero came with her family to purchase two trees on Friday.

“My son’s coming in from Austin, we usually come and get them here, well last year because everything happened,” said Guerrero.

Excited to see the tree lot back open this year saying last year she ended up getting an artificial tree.

Another El Paso family stopped by on Friday to pick out a live tree for their son’s first Christmas. The family shared with KTSM 9 News that they had wanted to get a live tree last year, but said they were hard to find.

 “We had an artificial tree so we were really looking forward to getting a fresh live tree this year,” said Lili Brunner.

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