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FEMA shares how the City of Port Aransas is ready for summer tourism

Posted at 7:33 PM, Jun 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-06 20:42:09-04

FEMA says Port Aransas is ready for the return of summer tourism.

Many of the businesses and attractions that were destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Harvey now have re-opened.

Tourism remains a huge part of the Port Aransas economy.

The Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce there says 90% of restaurants and retailers have re-opened.

However, summer lodging is a different story.

Jerry Barras was about to open 18 cottages, but three weeks before his launch date Hurricane Harvey hit.

For Barras, everything is back to normal. He hopes for some strong business this summer.

“Summertime, it’s a madhouse and last summer was my first experience with the madhouse,” Barras said. “I’m looking forward to it again,” said Barras, who owns Old Town Cottages & Cita.

Vacation rental spot Life in Paradise has also rebounded.

They are still rebuilding 10 structures and the company lost four properties.

“We value the people that come to Port A and we value the fact that they come here and want to enjoy our beach and our little town,” owner Steve Dewitt says.

Now, it’s doubled in size.

This business provides everything from condos to townhomes for summer tourists.

“Our office had 62½ inches of water here destroying everything we had,” Dewitt said.

Cinnamon Shore developers say crews had to work 20-hour days after Harvey to get their vacation spot ready for their 2018 summer launch.

“You know Texans support this Texas beach community and I think it is a big deal for them to continue to come down after Harvey,” says Daniel Mazoch, Cinnamon Shore’s director of development.