PORT ARANSAS, Texas — This week in Port Aransas residents and visitors were allowed to enjoy the beach as restrictions were lifted.
3News' Mariah Gallegos has a reaction from local business owners about the re-opening.
"It was like someone opened the flood gates and suddenly you know I've got no booking for weeks and suddenly I'm getting inquiries left and right," said Erinn Adamek, Rental Property Operator.
Erinn says while normally early weekends in May are not very busy for her, rental properties in Port Aransas, because of the recent changes in restrictions for the beaches, bookings have spiked.
"it's great to think I'm gonna get some money coming in but I also don't want there to be a big COVID second wave. or someone saying that all these tourists are bringing the illness to the island that operates safely and then we get shut down again," said Erinn.
Adamek also says it has been a bit slow as expected with tourism at a low. But the first weekend for the beaches re-opening fully has surprised not only her but believes other businesses as well.
"Now is the time to take a break and say 'that's great that we have demand, but we also don't want to burn out the labor, the labor force there because without them...we're underwater," adds Adamek.
"It makes me a bit nervous, but I also know that there are people out there trying to social distance and stay away from each other. I think it's going to pose its challenges," said Jordan Witter.
Jordan Witter another local business owner believes while the influence of visitors is nice for the tourism economy it can be difficult to and for safety for cautions
“I am hoping maybe we can figure out a way to make the beaches a little bit Safer but it’s just impossible to enforce and force it out here right now,” added Witter.
And while both Witter and Adamek understand both sides of the debate, they believe everyone should be able to get out, practice social distancing, and enjoy having their toes in the sand.
"I think right now people need to be able to go out into the sunshine and you know enjoy the ocean."
For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.
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