When was the last time you visited the Oasis? If you can't remember you're in for a treat. There's been a lot of changes along Camanche Trail, the path so many have taken since 1982 in order to experience the breathtaking sunsets that put Oasis on the map.
One of the most obvious changes you'll notice is the number of restaurants now available to visitors. It's not just about the Oasis anymore.
Last November Uncle Billy's Brew & Que and Soliel opened their doors offering the same magical views with menus that are a bit more focused. The smorgasbord of options at the Oasis can be a bit overwhelming so guests can opt to try Uncle Billy's Texas Bar-B-Que and beer or Soliel's Mediterranean seafood, pasta and wine.
"If you think you know about the Oasis, you are likely running on 'yesterday's information,'" says Robert Axelson, President of Isis Investments, L.P. and partner in the development.
So why all the changes? Well, in June of 2005 lightning sparked a fire that caused about $2 million in damages to the restaurant paving the way for new construction and the creation of Oasis Texas. Developers hope people see Oasis Texas as a destination, not just a restaurant.
"Everyone needs to come out and get up to date with all of the new things to see," Axelson says.
Some of the other new businesses you'll find are Zoltan David (fine jewelry), Blue Genie (handcrafted arts) and Texas Treasures (Texas inspired gifts). Visitors can check out these stores while drinking a hot up of coffee from Austin Java or eating some frozen yogurt from Chill, two other new vendors now on site.
Opening next fall are Lakeview Winery and Longhorn Balls, offering unique chocolate. Axelson said there are three other vendors in the works but could not give much more details.
While Oasis Texas may be a trek to most city dwellers, it may be worth a trip if you haven't been in awhile especially during the next few weeks. In an effort to attract more visitors, Oasis Texas built a 1,760 foot ice skating rink for their Holidays on Ice.
"We thought the ice rink was a great way to reintroduce everyone to the new Oasis Texas. Everyone who comes out can’t believe how much has changed since they last visited."
CultureMap Austin is a sponsor of Oasis Texas Holidays on Ice, open through January 1st. Toys for Tots will have drop boxes for donations on site throughout the holiday season. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the rink and get $1 off each skate ticket.