Before Hurricane Harvey, Port Aransas tourism industry brought $400 million into the economy. Now, with the area still struggling to get back on its feet before the summer season, businesses need tourists to come back and support the community by enjoying themselves—swimming at the beach, renting a vacation home, or enjoying the local restaurant scene (which is 80% open).
To that end, we're going to highlight some of the business victories (and entrepreneurial grit) that will define Port Aransas residents for years to come.
The Historic Port Royal Has Reopened
Port Royal has a 30-year history in Port Aransas. The massive hotel featured giant waterslides, in-pool cabana bars, and luxury accommodations—making it a major draw for multigenerational families. It also contains a conference center that made it a popular location for businesses looking for high-end locations for major meetings and industry conventions.
Port Royal has been much more than all of that, however.
When Hurricane Harvey destroyed thousands of homes and buildings, Port Royal took a hit—but it kept all 150 employees on its payroll and organized them into a volunteer force. The hotel turned itself into a volunteer center to help organize the rebuilding effort.
Port Royal generously ensured that its employees would be able to help the community while remaining employed. They've since repaired and opened their doors on June 1st.
Cinnamon Shore Investors Show Vote of Confidence in Port Aransas
Cinnamon Shore is a high-end home development that is adding a $1.3 billion, 300-acre expansion to its agenda. Such a massive investment (and an expansion, no less) not only provides much-needed housing inventory to the region, but it shows that Port Aransas is far from a charity case—it's a vital, thriving, and vibrant community that provides Texans with incredible investment opportunities.
The owners of Cinnamon Shore have also worked with the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce to raise $892,000 to help community members rebuild their homes and rental units for the tourism season.
"When Your Name Is Phoenix, You Better Rise Up"
Tiana Worsham, the chef and owner at a fine dining restaurant named Phoenix, shares her thoughts on the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey: “After I saw the devastation, my first instinct was to take the money and run and go find a new place that wasn’t damaged, but we are all in on Port Aransas and this special community. Plus, when your name is the Phoenix, you better rise up from something.”
Port Aransas is rebuilding, growing stronger and more determined than ever. It's ready for the summer season, but they need Texas to have faith in them. They need vacationers in Corpus Christi to make a day trip into Port Aransas, to shop and eat and enjoy themselves.
Beth Owens, Port Aransas city councilwoman and local business owner, put it this way: "I don’t want people to wait for things to be perfect to come back to Port Aransas."
"We need people to come and support us right now.”