Galveston ready for another booming season post-Hurricane Ike

Galveston Island celebrated record crowds over the Memorial Day holiday weekend

May 26, 2013 3:50:09 PM PDT
The holiday weekend is drawing thousands of people to Galveston Island.

The beaches were packed Sunday and the city that pulled itself out of the rubble of Hurricane Ike now looks a lot like its old self again.

A rebuilt pavilion, boardwalk and stage on East Beach re-opened Saturday, marking Galveston's near-complete recovery from the destruction caused by Ike.

"They've rebuilt Pleasure Pier. It's the Flagship, Pleasure Pier. People are here, so I definitely think they've done a great job," said Nazley Mohammadi of Houston.

"I think that it's a great thing that we can come out here and have some fun," Lonn Washington of Houston said.

Standing on the seawall, it's hard to imagine the devastation here just a few short years ago. Business is booming and Memorial Day, in particular, is a money maker.

"It's doing fantastic," beach vendor Theresa Kashuda said. "The weather is great. Everyone wants sno-cones and shaved ice. It's absolutely wonderful."

The $1.6 million renovation of East Beach was funded by FEMA. And after a 7 percent increase hotel visitors from 2011 to 2012, the city crushed by a hurricane now looks forward to another successful summer season.

"Last year was doing good," Kashuda said. "But I think this year we're off to a much better start."

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