Galveston is Back

On July 14, 2011, in Travel, Uncategorized, by admin

Galveston After Hurricane Ike

 
This was the scene after 2008’s Hurrican Ike. The victim?  Galveston Island. Mass destruction took place on this city of about 60,000 in a massive way. Not foriegn to hurricanes, Ike tore through in a damaging way not seen since the epic hurricane of 1900 that killed over 5,000 people and led the city to build itself up on “stilts”. Galveston is a weekend getaway for us lowly Texans. On the Gulf of Mexico, it sports decent beaches, great seafood, and a few attractions that regulary draw families on weekends and during the summer.
 
Ike changed all that. The destruction was relentless and thorough. Landmarks were washed away. Not only did the winds get near 200mph, it was accompanied by a surf that jumped the famed seawall, designed to keep such issues at bay. The rest of the island lay beneath the seawall in depth, so you can only imagine what a tsunami type surf did to the houses behind the seawall. The picture speaks for itself. Each year, this area lives with the threat of hurricanes.  It was unclear how Galveston would return.
 
Three years later, a visit to the island for a weekend told a vivid story.  Galveston is back.  It started with the search for a hotel on a Saturday night.  This was not a holiday weekend. Yes it followed a holiday weekend, but still, this was war torn Galveston. The Knights Inn, one step above hookerville advertising hourly room rates, was $160 a night. The Tremont House,  a hotel on the shopping district called the Strand, was booked. It was clear we would have to spend money to stay this weekend.  We finally got a last minute room at the Tremont House for $249/night. While driving through the city, a few things were apparent:
  1. There was no lack of people on the island.  We could not find a parking space along the seawall up to 61st
  2. There was little indication of the devastation that took place in 2008. There were a few, but there was also new and great businesses (read Rum Shack) that have opened up.
  3. 99.8% of business has returned to Galveston
  4. Business was brisk.

I thought it would take something significant as a motivator for business to return, like the backward conservative right of Texas finally passing a law allowing casinos on the island.  I was wrong. Business was hopping, the island crowded, and people appearing to have a great time.

I was completely encouraged by this. Galveston is a relatively inexpensive weekend for us Texans. OK. The beaches are not LA or FLA, but they are beaches non the less. We will review the Tremont House in a separate post….but for now, just please know, Galveston is Back, in case you were interested.

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