The Tarpon Inn in Port Aransas is one of the oldest hotels in Texas, with operations dating back to 1886. Hurricane Harvey forced it to close its doors, but that is no longer the case.
The Tarpon Inn just announced yesterday that their doors are once again open to guests. This upcoming weekend will be the first weekend that they have been open since Harvey, and they are coming back strong. With the popular tourist draw SandFest going on, the inn is completely booked.
The Tarpon Inn holds 132 years worth of stories.
"The Tarpon Inn was here before anything else was," owner Lee Roy Hoskins said.
The inn has hosted dozens of famous guests, and even scheduled a tarpon fishing trip for President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Then there was another chapter in its history: Hurricane Harvey.
"I was real concerned about what would be left once we got back in here and could see the extent of the damage," Hoskins said.
The Tarpon Inn got a lot of water damage, and was forced to close its doors. It required eight months of hard work and repairs.
Now, finally, the staff is getting back to what they do best: hosting guests.
"We’re glad that we’re back up and running," Hoskins said.
Despite the damage, the inn’s historical features were preserved, including a collection of tarpon scales signed guests. One dates back to 1892.
Hoskins credits the inn’s solid structure, which was rebuilt in 1925, for withstanding high winds. He says it is one reason why the inn can re-open, while many other Port Aransas hotel and condos still remain closed due to storm damage.
"I’m very thankful that we have been able to do that. I think there are a lot of places that aren’t going to be quite so lucky," Hoskins said.
Now staff preps for a busy spring weekend in Port Aransas, happy, to once again have a full house.
"We’re very appreciative of all our customers coming back to see us. It’s very important I think, not only to the hotel but to the city of Port Aransas," Hoskins said.
The inn did take a big financial hit for being closed for eight months, but Hoskins says they have heard from lots of loyal guests who are excited to book trips to their favorite coastal destination.
He also expects the inn’s famous restaurant, Roosevelt’s, to re-open within a month.