Minimal Damages to Galveston Islands Tourism

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					FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 19, 2008
Contact: RoShelle Gaskins PR Manager Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau Direct: 409-682-3029 Email: rgaskins@galvestoncvb.com

Minimal Damages to Galveston Island’s Tourism After Hurricane Ike
Although Galveston felt the strength of Hurricane Ike in many ways, the Island’s tourism attractions and hotels held strong and will recover swiftly. Galveston was spared some damage after hurricane Ike's landfall thanks to the 1900 Great Storm survivors' creation of the famed Seawall. The 10 mile, 17 foot high concrete wall protected the Island from dire devastation. Water is where it shouldn't be, some structures are out of place and some have laid to rest in the Gulf but nothing will stop Galveston from rebuilding. The Galveston Hotel and Lodging Association (GHLA) reported minimal damage to Island hotels after hurricane Ike swept through Galveston on September 13. GHLA assessed damages throughout the week and discovered only minor repairs needed to be made and most hotels are solely awaiting primary utilities to be able to reopen. “The Island’s hotel industry is looking forward to reopening their doors to tourists and providing first class accommodations to conventions and guests soon,” said GHLA President Paul Schultz. The Galveston Island Convention Center at the San Luis Resort (GICC) sustained minimal damage from hurricane Ike. The GICC is looking forward to hosting upcoming events and conventions in the very near future. Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark will remain closed as park officials assess damage. The waterpark will undoubtedly reopen at a later date. Valid 2008 Schlitterbahn Galveston Island summer tickets may be redeemed at our other locations, Schlitterbahn New Braunfels and Schlitterbahn South Padre Island, this weekend only. All 2008 tickets will expire on September 21, 2008.

Emergency power was stabilized at the Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid by Wednesday morning and employees were bused in to provide assistance. Both are indicators that the road to recovery is underway at one of the state’s top tourist attractions. The penguins, seals, sharks and other marine animals at the 1.5 million gallon Aquarium Pyramid are reported as doing well. Approximately 10,000 marine animals live in the facility and the stabilization of the emergency power provided additional good news for the welfare of the animals that survived the catastrophic wrath of Hurricane Ike. Seven thousand documented historic buildings are located in Galveston, it is estimated as many as 1,500 of the structures sustained damage during Hurricane Ike. The most famous of the buildings known as the Broadway Beauties, Ashton Villa, Bishop’s Palace and Moody Mansion, sustained very little damage, as was the case during the 1900 storm. The famous 1877 tall ship ELISSA, restored in 1982 by the foundation, lost several sails but otherwise seemed to ride out the hurricane well. For more information visit www.galvestonhistory.org. The Lone Star Flight Museum sustained 'substantial' damage from Ike. The extent of the damage has yet to be assessed by LSFM officials and staff. Prior to IKE’s arrival, pilots were able to fly 10 historic aircrafts out of harms way including: B17, B-25, DC-3,P-47, F6F, F4U, SBD, AT-11, P-6 and the F8F. Please visit www.lsfm.org for up to date information. Carnival Cruise Lines has expressed their commitment to Galveston Island and will return as soon as operations are fully functioning. Everyone has clean up to do after any storm blows through, Ike is not an exception. Residents and employees of hotels, stores and attractions will work together to restore the Island as quickly as possible. “Our goal is the same as the 1900 survivors, to make Galveston a better place for the now and for the future,” stated RoShelle Gaskins, Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau spokesperson. Please check www.galveston.com for updates on Galveston Island's condition.

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