By CRAIG ALANIZ
South Padre Parade
Sonny’s Beach Services opened alongside the Pearl Hotel 26 years ago. Manager Sammi Bowers started working at her parents’ business when she was 14-years-old. She said her parents, Sonny and Vickie Gentry, wanted a business that was fun and family-oriented.
“I’ve grown up here seeing customers through the years now I am starting to meet their children,” Bowers said.
Sonny’s is known for its smiley-faced parasail that is pulled by a 32 foot para-craft boat, Bowers said. The specially purposed boat carries customers about 600 feet in the air providing a sky view of the Island.
“It is a lot more relaxing than it is scary,” Bowers said.
When weather permits the smiley face can be seen in the gulf, Bowers said. The captains of the vessal both have over 10 years’ experience with the company and are licensed with the USCG.
Banana boat rides are also available at Sonny’s, Bowers said, up to six people could ride at once. She said kids love when the boat flips and are dismounted from the banana boat.
There is no need to carry a heavy umbrella or beach chairs if you visit Sonny’s, Bowers said. Customers can avoid a sunburn and do not have to worry about carrying supplies to the beach because umbrellas and chairs are available with their company. She said there are also toys for sale for those who might have forgot their favorite sandcastle tools.
Sonny’s also provides booking services for activities around the Island with their partners, Bowers said. Dolphin watches with The Original Dolphin Watch, Snorkeling with Southern Wave and American Diving, fishing trips with Danny B and jet skis with Laguna Bob’s.
Those dreaming for a beach wedding can find their equipment at Sonny’s, Bowers said. It is fun helping future newlyweds plan an amazing wedding ceremony. She said information can be found on her website, www.weddingssouthpadre.com.
Sonny’s Beach Services is open seasonally from March until October and open daily from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. They are located at 310 Padre Boulevard.
“I hope customers come see what South Padre Island is all about. The beach is wonderful,” Bowers said.