Tourism drop means Harvey still punishing Texas beach towns

PORT ARANSAS, Texas — Hurricane Harvey caused extensive damage to Port Aransas and Texas Gulf Coast beach towns like it.

But that may be only the beginning of the economic pain.

The storm arrived just before Labor Day, wiping out the lucrative summer season's final weeks.

Tourists may stay away during the usually busy Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's holidays. Even the possibility of getting back to business by spring break looks bleak.

The owners of bars and eateries, inns and T-shirt shops are facing a paradox. Tourists likely won't return until the rebuild is in full swing, but picking up the pieces post-Harvey may not truly begin without tourism profits.

The head of the Texas Travel Industry Association says recovery will come "but it will never be fast enough for these folks."

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