As Rockport-Fulton leaders met to discuss their community's future, many in the Rockport's Emergency Operations Center thought about the last time so many people were in the room.
“Four and a half months ago, we were in this very room hearing what a category four was going to do to our community,” said Diane Probst, President of the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce.
The category four was Hurricane Harvey. The storm devastated the city. Four and a half months later, the same people heard the city's plan for economic recovery.
“The people in the room, the leadership and the energy of the room is so exciting for the Rockport-Fulton area,” said Probst.
The last four and a half months have seen plenty of progress. 461 businesses reopened, as have 500 hotel rooms all ready to welcome tourists back to the area.
“We are in the tourism business,” said Probst. “We have hotels here, we have vacation rentals, we have attractions, we have a beautiful beach, beautiful area; we've got to get back into the tourism business.”
As recovery moves forward, officials know they're faced with a once in a lifetime opportunity. An opportunity created by tragedy.
“Things that are happening right now ordinarily would not have ever happened,’ said Probst. “We can take a look with a whole different open mind perspective and take advantage of many of these opportunities.”
As Rockport recovers, leaders were reminded to be proactive about bringing new businesses to town. Many places are looking for the same type of investments; places which weren't battered by a hurricane, and won't slow their progress to let Rockport catch up.
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