NOVEMBER 07, 2016


The South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Advisory (CVA) Board considered funding for the RGV Reef project as well as heard post event reports, a presentation on the Valley International Airport, and an update on Island marketing efforts.
“it didn’t go as well as we expected it to g, said a representative of the SPI Bike Rally in presenting their post event report to the Board. “We had a limited amount of vendors whish really hindered our efforts. The other factor that hindered our efforts was the county fee. A lot of folks did not want to pay the extra $10 per vehicle per day to enter Isla Blanca Par.” He reported. He further stated that holding the event outside, as opposed to inside the Convention Center as it was at previous rallies, kept away vendors who did not want to set up outside in the elements.
“Anecdotally, it seems like it was really pretty much a bust,” commented Board Chairm77an Wally Jones. He stated that there weren’t too many bikes parked at the hotels.  Jones also questioned the validity of the 1,312 hotel rooms cited in the report as he could not discern between rooms dedicated to people attending the event and other visitors to the Island.
“Just for the $75,000, that should generate a lot of income for South Padre Island, and this did not,” added Board Member Will Greenwood, referring to the funding provided for the event.
The Board also heard a post event report presented by Paul Magee regarding Splash. He stated that the event was attended by about 2,000 and that they doubled last year’s totals for attendee occupancy in hotels and condominiums. Magee cited incentives such as buy one get one free, VIP packages, and party cruises as factors that helped make the event a success.
The issue of providing funding to the RGV Reef project in the amount of $39,068 was also considered by the Board. In their Oct. 19 meeting, City Council approved a motion to ask the CVA Board to consider funding the $19,534 being asked from the City, Members of City Council as well as the CVA Board both expressed support for the project. At issue was determining what funds would best be used to support the effort. The CVA Board concurred with Council’s motion and approved the funding.
Convention and Visitors Director Keith Arnold provided his monthly report to the Board. Highlights in the month of October included the success of the Island’s Trip Advisor page as well as the launch of an animated video in Texas airports illustrating the proximity of SPI. The device ID program also generated several good leads related to Spring Break according to the report. Arnold also shared that the Island was recently featured as a fall travel destination on The Dallas Morning News.
Finally, the Board heard a report about Valley International Airport presented by Jose Mulet. One of the highlights of the report was the development of the Harlingen Aerotropolis. The purpose of this development according to Mulet is to attract aerospace industry to build facilities there. Wally Jones brought up the concern with Mulet regarding the lack of last minute, low fee travel from nearby destinations in Texas. When  asked by Jones if he saw any relief in terms of these fares, Mulet responded: “What we need is more competition.” He went on to state the startup process for a new airline to provide such competition is also very difficult and costly.

-By Kevin Rich