The Galveston Park Board of Trustees on Tuesday discussed ways to work with the Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves and others to attract cruise ships on port of call visits to Galveston. The port has been successful as a home port for several cruise lines, but port of call visits have been rare.
Park Board Executive Director Kelly de Schaum reviewed the Jones Act, which prohibits foreign flag vessels from cruises that make multiple stops at American ports and other obstacles to port of call visits.
However, Park Board Chair Dr. Craig Brown, in an interview with Guidry News Service, said the issue is more complex. Listen
“Those laws are minor compared to the need to have the cruise lines recognize Galveston as a viable port of call,” he said. “The cruise lines have to feel that Galveston has a lot to offer and has attractions and tours that would be attractive to cruise passengers.”
Brown said the park board is working to put together a package of material that outline the attractions and tour packages that are available in Galveston.
“And then we’ll work with the wharves board and the city and other organizations to present this to the cruise lines,” he said.
The park board voted unanimously to set $1.2 million as the value of one cent of the hotel occupancy tax for budgeting purposes next year. This is 15 percent over the revenue generated by the HOT tax last year.
The park board voted to negotiate a contract with National Sign Company for the manufacturing and installation of new way-finding and educational signs on Seawall Boulevard. The board will consider the contract for approval at the next meeting.
The park board approved concessionaire agreement with Galveston Urban Ministries to operate a food vending cart at R.A. Apffel Park.
The park board made appointments to the Tourism Development Advisory Committee and the Beach Maintenance Advisory Committee.
- The park board reappointed Joyce Calvert, representing the downtown area; Theresa Elliott, Steve Cunningham, Buzz Elton and Garvin O'Neil, representing the Galveston Hotel and Lodging Association; and John Zendt, representing attractions at-large; to the TDAC - on the recommendation of the committee’s chair, Shane McDermott. The Galveston Restaurant Association will recommend an appointment for consideration at the next meeting of the park board.
- The park board appointed Linda Strevell, representing volunteer organizations; Bets Anderson, representing citizens; and Claire Reiswerg, representing beach-related businesses to the BMAC - on the recommendation of the committee’s chair, Jerry Mohn.
The park board voted unanimously to contribute funds to the Santa Hustle and the Lone Star Rally.
The park board discussed litter and trash control and other potential modifications to the beach maintenance policy, but voted unanimously to defer action until its next meeting.
The park board deferred selection of a contractor for Seawolf RV Park until the next meeting.
The park board discussed the possibly of arrangements with private promoters to attract special events to the beach parks. That discussion will continue at the next meeting.
All other agenda items were approved. Agenda
All votes were unanimous. Marie Robb joined the park board as the ex-officio representative of Galveston City Council.
Park Board Police and Beach Patrol Director Peter Davis introduced five new tourism oriented police officers to the board.
The next meeting of the park board will be on July 24.