By KEVIN RICH
Special to the PRESS
Making South Padre Island a port of call for cruise liners was once again the topic of discussion during a meeting of the City Council last Thursday.
Council members considered a $100,000 budget amendment request by the South Padre Island Economic Development Corporation for a consulting agreement with the Passenger & Shipping Institute.
“At the last EDC board meeting, the Board voted unanimously to fund a study to look at the opportunities for SPI to become a cruise ship destination port of call,” EDC Director Darla Lapeyre said.
“What this particular consultant will do is bring together a team of experts to work with us over the next three months to be fully prepared to make a pitch to the cruise industry,” explained City Manager Susan Guthrie as she shared highlights of a presentation provided by the consultants.
The Island could stand to reap $19.8 million in direct benefits if it hosts 50 port calls per year by a 3,000 passenger ship.
“This would be a major step for us. This would step us up into a different level that we’ve never achieved before,” said Ron Pitcock, who serves both on the council as well as the EDC.
“If we can do this, it would be an amazing economic kick for us,” agreed Council member Theresa Metty.
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