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Port A's new destination steward looks to avoid unruly visitors with education

The position looks to help short-term rental clients avoid fines from between $500-$2,000.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Marsha Dayon and her family have lived in Port Aransas for the last three years.

"I live right between two short-term rentals here in Port A in a very busy part of town,” she said. “Sometimes a little bit of recklessness from the people. And when I say that, they come here, they're on vacation and sometimes that provides them opportunities to maybe to celebrate a little bit more than I would prefer my children to be around."

She feels like her community is handling short-term rentals in the right way.

"I haven't had an experience where I have told somebody, ‘Hey, if you guys could take it down a notch. …"

To make sure that renters follow the rules, the city has hired Chris Riggins as a destination stewardship manager in charge of making sure tourists and renters know the rules.

"Violations can be reported, and we did see quite a few violations reported over the summer," he said.

Tickets can be issued to renters for things like noise, trash, too many people in a house, and parking, can range up to $500 per offense.

Port Aransas’ Tourism Bureau President Brett Stawar says after a surge of complaints and violations during the COVID-19 pandemic, they decided a steward was definitely needed.

"In those several months, a couple of years that we've experienced we really had to educate our visitors on the rules, regulations and also respecting one another,” he said.

People visit Port Aransas for the ocean, and they all need a place to stay. The city is trying to make that as pleasant as possible for tourists and residents alike.

"Violations range anywhere from $500,” said asst. city manager Rick Adams. “Certain life-safety and zoning violations can extend up to $2,000."

A hotline to report short-term rental problems has been set up at (361) 333-5659.

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