Tourist town turns to Facebook Live to bring in business

Local News

PORT ISABEL, Texas — Port Isabel is a small tourist town on the southern gulf coast.

The sounds of seagulls and salt in the air are a part of everyday life and influences business.

“These are chainsaw carved pelicans statues,” said Paul Wentzel, the proud owner of Coastal Winds. Wentzel and his wife Karen have decorated countless homes with their wood carved pieces for decades but amid Texas’ COVID-19 disaster orders to close retail money has been tight.

“We’re cash-starved just like everybody else but we’re still here and we’re not planning on leaving.”

The seagull city is in a bit of a predicament, Friday Governor Greg Abbott will lift restrictions on retail to allow for curbside pick up but Cameron County has a shelter-in-place order in effect.

“It’s been interesting to deal with the whole topic of travel and tourism and times when we’re not allowed either one,” said Valerie Bates, Port Isabel’s Marketing Director.

To bring cash in without in-store customers, Port Isabel will go live on Facebook from Coastal Winds.

“We’re just going to see if we can connect customers with a little retail therapy,” said Bates.

Soaps, jewelry and shell art are some of the specialty items in carefully curated gift bags from Artsea.

“Our shirts are big sellers,” exclaimed co-owner Wendy Hauschildt.

The sisters and mother owned specialty shop sits across from the iconic Port Isabel Lighthouse and is a town favorite.

“I would hope that even without the tourists here, the locals who have supported as for all of these years, we’d like to give them an opportunity to support us, I would like to give a little bit back.”

To attend the Port Isabel Facebook LIVE event visit:

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