Tourism is big business in Port Aransas.
“That’s how we make money,” said Jeffrey Hentz, CEO of the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce. “Our cash crop is tourism. There’s no other industry here, that’s what keeps us afloat and keeps us growing every year in record numbers.”
Port A is also a hot spot for short-term rentals. Through companies like AirBNB and HomeAway, short term rentals are a way for owners to cash in on seldom used properties.
“Port A presents, and Mustang Island in general presents a great opportunity for folks who want to become part of the tourism scene,” said Hentz. “Make some money and at the same time have a better quality of life by spending some of their vacation time here.”
Several Port A residential communities are zoned for short-term rentals, but through homeowners associations, restrict rentals to at least 30 days at a time. A recent Texas Supreme Court ruling says those HOA’s can’t enforce those restrictions.
“I think it is going to be a cause for pause for our local leaders, our office, and our community that’s impacted by this result and figure out what’s the best way to go about it,” said Hentz.
According to Hentz, Port A can serve as an example for cities trying to figure out what to do with short term rentals.
“We get it here,” said Hentz. “I think we’re going to continue to do it right.”