Ingleside economy still taking a hit from Hurricane Harvey

Chamber officials said they are still planning to hold the Round Up Days Festival, a three-day celebration in March, as planned.

With the economy in Ingleside still reeling from Hurricane Harvey, organizers of the annual Renaissance Faire said they were forced to cancel it this year.

The problem lies in the City's lack of revenue from the hotel occupancy tax.

The event was supposed to be held Dec. 9-10 at Live Oak Park. It's cancellation was a disappointment for many.

"I've enjoyed coming to the event every year, and I'm going to miss it," Paula Seychel said. "I hope it's only for one year."

Jane Gimler, President and CEO of the Ingleside Chamber of Commerce, explained that the Chamber is able to sponsor events like the Faire with the hotel occupancy tax, but those are currently not being generated.

"When our hotels, a majority of our hotels, were hit pretty hard and we have three of them we feel will not open probably until next year -- March, April," said Jane Gimler, President and CEO of the Ingleside Chamber of Commerce. "We know that one of our largest ones, one of our largest supporters, will not open probably until after summer."

Gimler said 80-percent of businesses have returned, including Chemours, Oxy Chem and Kiewit, and that's a good sign.

"We know what everybody here in Ingleside wanted. We need to get back to normal is what they say, but we felt at this time that this was just a little too hard at the moment to put it on," Gimler said. "To put a successful event on for everyone."

Ian Hughes , the operator of two local hotels and a Chamber board member, said restoration of his hotels is taking longer than he thought.

"The one in Ingleside, that is still under review with the insurance company. That was basically totaled out, so that won't be open until probably May," Hughes said. "We've accommodated some of the entertainments that have been coming, even some of the people from out of town stay with us, so it was kind of double disappointing."

Chamber officials said they are still planning to hold the Round-Up Days Festival, a three-day celebration in March, as planned.

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