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Rockport locals and visitors helping fuel local economy

Memorial Day visitors helping boost business sales
Rockport a spot for best Labor Day fishing
Posted at 11:49 PM, May 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-31 00:49:32-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Some locals of Rockport said being vaccinated is helping them stay safe and motivating them to go out, especially now that people from out of town are visiting this Memorial Day weekend.

“I feel safer because of the fact that we have been vaccinated more and even though we are a tourist town and others come here, I just feel that because of the vaccine I am safer,” Shelley Stichler, a resident of Rockport said.

Stichler said being by the beach is helping ease her mind when it comes to staying safe.

“We live in the Coast….I don’t know. There’s the wind blowing and it’s more….we don’t have to strictly be to that six foot thing,” she said.

Phil Whetzel recently moved to Rockport and said location matters when it comes to being around other people who could possibly transmit COVID-19 to him.

“I came from San Antonio and down here there’s just more open space and I guess you’re not as close to other people. You’re not in tight confined spaces,” Whetzel said.

He also said there’s more people in the area because of the holiday weekend.

Some visitors have noticed people are not following COVID-19 guidelines in Rockport, but their family being vaccinated helps them stay safe.

“Everybody had been fully vaccinated and we feel pretty comfortable coming out here. There’s a lot of people out here who don’t wear masks,” Matthew Boyd, a visitor of Rockport said.

However, some visitors like Dawn Gowery were never afraid to venture out during the pandemic because she’s skeptical of the information that is being put out by officials and physicians.

“I felt safe always. I always feel safe because I feel safe because of who I am. Not because what a government or a medical physician or bureaucrat tells me,” Gowery said.

Business owners like Debbie Bullock, who owns a face painting business, the Rainbow Palate, said she’s visiting the area from Houston and said she has been getting more business lately because more people are willing to go out.

“I haven’t had any work for over a year really because of the pandemic but now I’m starting to get gigs and work as of you know, the Spring,” Bullock said.

Other business owners like Jacqui McCrea, who owns Attitudes and Latitudes, a store in Rockport, said she’s been seeing more business this weekend. She said she had to close her business down for three months because of the pandemic and has been seeing sales go up since March when COVID-19 restrictions were eased by Governor Abbott.

“With the mask mandate and all that sort of stuff easing, more people are getting vaccinated, the customers are feeling some sort of freedom,” McCrea said.