Eagle Ford Hotels: Down But Not Out

Temporary Housing in  Eagle Ford
Temporary Housing in Eagle Ford

The temporary housing market for oilfield workers in the Eagle Ford is hanging on despite slower demand.

Relates: Will Bakken Man Camps Disappear?

At the peak of the shale boom, Eagle Ford hotels, lodges and man camps could barely keep up with demand, as workers flooded the region for work and needed a place to stay. According to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, temporary housing in the Eagle Ford increased more than 270 percent to 7,860 rooms since 2008.

At the height of the boom, many of these housing providers were able to set their prices and sometimes, even turn away customers. But today, its a different story. Producers have scaled back operations as they wait out the current pricing environment, which means fewer workers in the field that need housing. Supply has outstripped demand and rooms that once rented for $300 a night, may now only cost $75.

Things are hardly bleak, however. New numbers by the Comptroller's Office, show lodging providers in the Eagle Ford took in $63 million in revenue in the first quarter of the year, down 11 percent from the previous quarter, but a $5.1 million increase over 2014.

One company, InVision Housing Solutions LLC, is optimistic about the future and is working to raise $5 million in capital to build new oilfield worker housing at the Double C Resort just outside Carrizo Springs, Texas.

Michael Spencer, head of InVision, told San Antonio Business Journal that research shows that Carrizo Springs and surrounding Dimmit County remain the No. 1 drilling site in the Eagle Ford Shale. "

(Operators) drilled 4,000 to 5,000 wells around here,” Spencer said. “They have to keep taking care of them.

Number of Oil & Gas Jobs Continue to Rise in Texas

Pump Jack Image
Pump Jack Image

The Eagle Ford Shale boom is attracting workers in South Texas, and with the price of oil currently hovering around $100 per barrel, growth is expected to continue into the immediate future. In March of 2014, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) said 3,200 oil and gas related jobs were added in January, for a total of 15,800 jobs over the year and an annual growth rate of 5.6%.

With statistics like those, many folks are seeking Eagle Ford jobs to fulfill their dream of a better life, support a family, or simply make a career change, but working in the South Texas oil patch can be challenging. Since the boom began, the landscape of South Texas has changed - housing shortages, overcrowded schools, and increased traffic have become the new reality for many parts of South Texas.

South Texas Housing Options

This isn't the first oil boom the U.S. has ever experienced. As a child, I recall my grandmother telling stories about living in tent cities, as her father worked the rigs across the country during the 1930s. Today, in South Texas, there are a number of lodging options, but where oilfield workers ultimately find a place mostly depends on availability and budget.

As a result of traditional housing shortages, many south Texas oilfield workers have chosen RVs as a temporary form of housing in a slew of South Texas RV parks that have sprung up all across the region in response to the boom. Prices for slips and accommodations can vary from park to park, and generally, prices have either go up or down depending on a park's proximity to a hot area of development in the Eagle Ford. Most oilfield workers see their RVs as a place to get cleaned up, eat, sleep and then get back to work. Since 2009, hundreds of parks all across South Texas have targeted oilfield workers as their primary customer-base.

Concerns for Oilfield Workers

Aside from housing shortages, when school starts again in September, oil patch families can expect overcrowding and possible understaffing in South Texas schools. While some oilfield workers moving to Texas have opted to bring their families with them, others have decided to leave their families at home.

Another concern for workers seeking opportunities in the Eagle Ford Shale are traffic accidents. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 3,430 fatal and serious injury crashes and 236 traffic fatalities were recorded in the Eagle Ford in 2013. The count represents a 7% increase in fatal and serious injury crashes over the previous year for the region.

The Studios at Carrizo Springs Provides State of the Art Eagle Ford Accomodations - Press Release

The Studios at Carrizo Springs
The Studios at Carrizo Springs

Stratton Oilfield Systems has introduced a superior housing concept to the Eagle Ford Shale area.

Located one-half mile off of Hwy. 83 in Carrizo Springs, The Studios can accommodate almost 500 guests.  The fully furnished, apartment-style suites are outfitted with resort quality furnishings and amenities and are situated on a paved, 25-acre site. 

Stratton Oilfield Systems (SOS) has developed a keen understanding of the needs of oil field workers and the results are a resounding success. The Studios at Carrizo Springs is truly your Home Away From Home.

Accommodations for Oil Field Workers

Stratton Oilfield Systems has developed a keen understanding of the needs of oil field workers and the results are a resounding success.

A well-rested worker is a safer worker in the field, thus The Studios offer only full or king-sized beds in a quiet, secure environment. 

Amenities include:  daily housekeeping, weekly linen service, on-site laundry facilities, keyless building and room entry, DirecTV, Wi-Fi, a fully equipped exercise facility, and private training/conference rooms. The gated grounds are protected by 24-hour security with management and maintenance staff on the premises at all times.

The Two Bedroom Suites are 770 sq. ft., with 2 full size beds in each bedroom, a kitchenette, full-size refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, dining area, and a large comfortable living room.  The One Bedroom Suites are 322 sq. ft., with a kitchenette and a spacious, private bedroom featuring a king size bed and a desk.  All the Suites are equipped with flat screen TVs in the living areas and bedrooms.

Recognizing the need for community space, SOS created a large recreation facility on the premises, aka “The Man Cave”.  Residents can enjoy gathering around the 82” HDTV or the pool / domino / gaming /ping pong tables.  Out of doors, guests can enjoy the NBA quality basketball goal, huge gazebos & professional horseshoe pits, all set in a grassed, four acre area.

Convenient Dining for Eagle Ford Workers

There is also a state-of-the-art Dining Facility operated by Taylors International.  This is a full service, commercial kitchen, capable of serving three meals each day to 1,000 guests, in four separate dining rooms, if needed.  There are three hot entrées offered at every meal service, always a salad bar and boxed lunches available to go.  Guests have access to a fully stocked snack & drink area 24 hours a day.

Reasonable Daily Rates

With daily rates starting at $49.95, SOS has catapulted The Studios at Carrizo Springs to the top of the list for employee housing in the area.  It is a safe, clean, comfortable, full-service location that sets a new standard for remote accommodations.  Creating this type of model is not easy, but SOS clearly has it mastered.  Of particular benefit to smaller companies is the fact that long-term contracts are not required.  Stay a night, a week or a month.

More About Stratton Oilfield Systems

SOS's parent company, Stratton Securities, Inc. was established in 1987 and has an impeccable record of success working with the United States Military in providing housing to our servicemen and women.  Stratton Oilfield Systems brings that same work ethic, experience, integrity, and attention to detail to the oil field industry to provide remote housing for your business’s most important asset – your employees.

For Reservations Contact:  Tom Caufmann, Director of Operations 855.842.7799 909 Munson Road, Carrizo Springs, Texas Email: thomas@strattonoilfieldsystems.com Website: www.studiosatcarrizosprings.com

The article above was published through EagleFordShale.com’s press release distribution service. Learn more about Eagle Ford Advertising Here.

Grand Opening For Koontz McCombs Workforce Housing Property - Thursday, July 25th in Dilley - Press Release

Sendero Ranch Grand Opening Invitation -  300 px
Sendero Ranch Grand Opening Invitation - 300 px

Award-winning commercial real estate firm Koontz McCombs has announced the grand opening of Eagle Ford Shale’s newest workforce housing community, Sendero Ranch in Dilley, TX.

Located in the heart of the fast-growing Eagle Ford Shale, the grand opening party is scheduled for Thursday, July 25th from 6pm-9pm and will feature cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and live music from highly acclaimed San Antonio musician Thom Shepard. All industry executives are welcome to attend and complimentary accommodations may be provided with advanced notice (24 hours notice). Kindly RSVP online HERE or call 830.220.1670.

esponding to oil companies’ demand for higher quality housing for their on-site employees and contractors, Koontz McCombs developed Sendero Ranch with the same high standards, attention to detail and quality-of-life amenities for which they are known in all their developments and construction projects.

Historically, workforce housing standards have been quite low, contributing to poor health and high attrition rates for workers. With the North American shale-gas boom in full swing, and expectation of continued growth over the next 20 years, companies are scrambling to provide affordable, quality living conditions for temporary and permanent field workforce, allowing them to attract and retain the skilled staffing they need.

Koontz McCombs is leading a paradigm shift away from the previously accepted low standards of workforce housing.

We’ve worked very hard to create top-tier private communities with the “home away from home” feel”, says company representative Loren Gulley. “We take great pride in providing the highest quality living standard in the market. It gives us great satisfaction that our clients and their people are happy, healthy and safe.

The new Sendero Ranch is a gated community with on-site management, private driveways, covered porches, flat-screen cable TV, high speed internet, maid service, recreation and laundry facilities. The Dilley location also offers commercial and industrial lots ranging in size from 1.3 acres up to 50+ acres available for sale, lease, or build to suit.

About Koontz McCombs

The firm of Koontz McCombs was formed in 1997 by Bart Koontz and Red McCombs to pursue the creation of distinctive, high quality properties throughout the state of Texas. Today, Koontz McCombs is a respected leader in commercial and multi-family real estate, producing high profile properties in San Antonio, Austin and Houston. With two locations in the Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas formation, Koontz McCombs has developed the Sendero Ranch properties in centrally located Dilley and Pearsall, available for daily, weekly, monthly and yearly rental. For more information, please visit www.senderoranch.net or call Loren Gulley directly at 210-841-9262.

The article above was published through EagleFordShale.com’s press release distribution service. Learn more about Eagle Ford Advertising Here.

Eagle Ford Workers Living In Shipping Container Apartments

Eagle Ford Shipping Container Apartments
Eagle Ford Shipping Container Apartments

Eagle Ford housing is being addressed by yet another creative solution. Local developer David Monnich is using shipping containers to construct three story apartments in South Texas.

The demand for housing has simply outstripped supply.  Modular homes can be deployed very quickly and we've seen several modular developments across the region. Mr. Monnich's development is different in that he is constructing modular apartments using common shipping containers.

“They were insulated, framed and prewired before we brought them down here and put them together,” Monnich said.

Rent will run from $800-1,200 per month for the shipping container based units. The concept is popular in Europe and leasing will begin in July at the Encinal, TX, location.

Eagle Ford Shipping Container Apartments Rear
Eagle Ford Shipping Container Apartments Rear

The upside to using shipping containers is that they can be easily moved as permanent housing is developed.

Mr. Monnich is one of our readers and graciously allowed us to use the photos included above. Thank you Mr. Monnich.