PORT ARANSAS, Texas — It's almost time for spring break here in the Coastal Bend, but most schools have changed their schedules based on things like days missed due to the winter storm and of course, the pandemic.
- Texas A&M Kingsville is one of the many schools across the state to cancel spring break completely.
- Texas A&M Corpus Christi has condensed their break to just one day. That'll be Wednesday, March 17, which of course is Saint Patrick's Day.
- Spring schedules for the CCISD, the Port Aransas I.S.D. and the Gregory-Portland ISD remain unchanged. They are out next week from March 8-12.
Port Aransas beaches are usually a party hot spot for high school and college students from near and far.
However, with a long list of schools canceling spring break all together this year, folks there are still expecting a strong number of visitors to the coastal community.
Brett Stawar who is the president and CEO of the Port Aransas Tourism Bureau and Chamber of Commerce believes spring break 2021 is looking bright.
"This year is going to be a little bit different than all the past. This spring break has seen a lot of college cancelations, and we are really looking at more families coming to Port A," said Stawar.
Stawar expects they will still see thier fair share of college students on the weekends and what he calls day trippers.
As far as those college cancelations, he doesn't think it will have a major effect on the community's economy because of the demand they've already been experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said a big part of that demand is from families who have been searching for an escape from reality.
"We have a strong pickup, so there are a lot of hotels that are at 60-70-80 percent occupancy, but there is still some room here on the island for March and April," said Stawar.
"There are people who are shut inside, have cabin fever and they are ready to get back to the beach," said rental property owner Andy Taubman.
The last time 3News spoke with Andy Taubman was back in April when the 'stay at home' order forced his rentals to close for the month.
The Double Barr Cottages is one of two properties he owns in Port Aransas. Since then, he said business has actually been good and is also expecting more families back this spring break.
"I think part of that is people just looking to get out of their houses and get to the beach, The fact that there is stimulus money rolling around the economy, and people are able to work remotely or have school remotely," said Taubman.
Folks are also searching online for short term rentals from sites like Airbnb.
Erinn Adamek with Space Positive helps manage her family-owned vacation rentals in Port A. She too has seen an increase in demand and is also hopeful for the 2021 spring and summer season.
"A high demand for the amount of housing there, last summer was the busiest summer the city had," said Adamek.
While the demand is out there, there are still rooms available and that is good news for folks who are thinking about that last minute trip over to Port Aransas.
For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.
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