Spring break crowds go on Safari

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Ever thought of Robertson County as a major tourist destination? Probably not. But it may have achieved that distinction over Spring Break as thousands of people drove through the Franklin Safari. Hard to believe? Owner Jason Clay does not have the final numbers but he thinks as many as 8,000 made the trek. What started out as a trickle a year and a half ago has become a flood. So why did people from Bryan/College Station, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex and even as far away as Pennsylvania decide to make Robertson County their destination? It’s not the beach, after all.
Jason gives a lot of the credit to a SuddenLink advertisement. SuddenLink shot the video and placed the ad next to programs it televises like Animal Planet and others of that ilk. It seems to have paid off. On Tuesday afternoon, cars were lined up from the entrance all the way out to Hwy. 79.
On Wednesday, the weather turned chilly and damp but cars were still coming in a steady stream. And the stream kept flowing. On damp, chilly days, the Safari may be better than a beach. You can stay in your car and still get the “wild life,” petting the critters as you feed them through the window.
Toward the end of Spring Break, Jason opened his new Gift Shop/Check-in center—giving guests a lot more elbow room as they purchase tickets and gifts. Next month, he plans to open a new snack bar. When you are a major tourist attraction, you keep improving.

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