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Port A RV Park is located in the city of Port Aransas, Texas, on Corpus Christi Bay. It is a very large RV resort that can hold up to 184 RV's. The property has many unique features and amenities that guests can use while staying there, including a couple of clubhouses with lounges, pools, kitchens, and other activities. There is a small dog park for those with pets and a pond on the property that is stocked with fish for those who would like to participate in catch and release fishing. Those who visit the resort can find many activities that they can participate in nearby, including swimming, jet skiing, beach walking, shopping, and many other things. The RV resort is open all year round and welcomes anyone who is looking for a vacation near the beach. The staff have tried to create a family-friendly environment with fairly upscale amenities and features.
The Port A RV Resort is located in Port Aransas, Texas. The resort is on an island in the Corpus Christi Bay and is known to be a highly visited tourist area. The resort itself caters to a large crowd of visitors. The property sits on 11 acres of land, providing their guests with a total of 184 RV sites for them to choose from. All of these sites are full hook-up sites, offering sewer, water, cable, and Wi-Fi to all visitors. Back-in sites are all 53 feet long, and pull-through sites are 70 feet long. Every site has a picnic table for visitors to use as a place to eat or sit and talk to family, friends, or other guests. They also have a small grassy area at each site for the guests. The roads inside of the park are all concrete, which allows for easier cleaning and access by vehicles. Additionally, there are two parking spots on each RV site that can fit extra cars if needed.
Some of the RV sites are more popular than others because of their location. The spots that surround the pond are popular because of the unique views that visitors get at that location and because they are slightly less crowded than other sites may be. Another series of locations that people have enjoyed are the spots near the back. These spots are appreciated for the same reason as the pond, that being that there aren't very many other RV's parked around them. Some guests prefer parking by the highway because of the nearby exits, but there are many different spots that people can use throughout the resort.
The resort has many amenities available for the people who are staying at the property. There are two buildings that guests can use for some entertainment while staying on-site. One is called the rec center by the office manager, Duke. The rec center has a gym, showers, a full kitchen, laundry units, shuffleboard, and a poker table. The other building is the clubhouse, which contains restrooms without showers, a full kitchen, and laundry units. Both of these buildings also have lounges with TVs, couches, chairs, and other luxuries for guests to use. Both have pools as well. Everything listed in these buildings is free for guests to utilize while staying at the Port A RV Resort.
There are a few other features on the property that are worth noting. One is the dog park provided for those who have brought their pets. The property is pet friendly, and so they have provided that area with a small field, a waste pick-up area, and even a fire hydrant for the dogs. The pond on the land is a freshwater pond and is open for guests to fish in as catch and release. There is trash pick-up offered to all guests, which happens throughout the day, and there is also a small mailroom for anyone who is staying for longer periods of time and expecting packages.
Throughout the year, there are many activities that the managers will put on for the guests, including paint classes, yoga classes, random potlucks, and even bingo. Most of these events will happen in the winter, but some events will occur in the summer, such as bands coming and performing. Otherwise, the property is three or four blocks away from the beach, so many guests will go and spend time walking, swimming, surfing, or doing other activities at the beach. There is also a town three-quarters of a mile away called Port Aransas that guests can go visit and shop or eat at.
For those looking for somewhere to eat while they are staying at Part A RV Resort, Duke frequently recommends multiple places for them. The first and second places that he recommends are also owned by the owners of the RV Resort, Gabe Goodman and Patrick Wheeler. Virginia's on the Bay is the first establishment on the list, offering mainly seafood dishes to their guests, as well as views of the gulf. The second recommendation is called the Port and Beer Hut, which sells beer primarily but also sells tacos in the morning. The third restaurant is called Irie's Island Food, which also specializes in seafood.
According to Duke, the office manager at the property, one of the biggest goals the Port A RV Resort is trying to achieve is to be different from the average hotel or RV park. They want their guests to feel as if they are at a resort. One of the primary ways that they try to create this resort-like culture is by being personable. Instead of impressing all the rules upon their guests when they show up, Duke says that they treat them like adults, fully expecting them to be respectful of the property and other guests without having to be told to do so. The staff of the park has also put into place a 24-hour service coverage so that guests who need any help are able to get some in a timely manner. Duke mentions that oftentimes when the maintenance crew is helping a guest out with an issue they're having, they are also able to help and fix something else in their trailer, such as a broken sink. Providing this service free of charge is something Duke calls the "Texas Way." Many guests who have stayed at the resort have talked about this service in their reviews. One such review reads, "Ryan and Duke are very professional and fun to be around. They are there to help any way they can!"
Duke says that being friendly has always been easy for him and his staff. He goes on to explain that this is perhaps because they are all local community members who aren't "business-like," meaning they aren't in a rush to hang up the phone or get a customer checked in. They instead try to be more people-friendly with their visitors instead of just seeing them as their "guests." The majority of the staff also live on-site, including Duke himself. He mentions that this has helped create a feeling of pride towards the resort in the team, stating the importance of "[taking] pride in the place you live at." Because of this friendly attitude they try to uphold, Duke says that a lot of guests become "hooked" after their first stay at the resort or even after just talking with him on the phone. One guest described the resort as having a "very friendly and accommodating staff. Duke was very helpful getting our reservation as they were 100% capacity most days." According to Duke, because they have achieved what they want in being personable and friendly, their guests like them, and they find they don't have to "shove people around" or worry about people being disrespectful to the property and other guests.
Another cultural aspect that the Port A RV Resort focuses on creating is being family-oriented. Often kids can be seen running around, skateboarding, scootering, and playing at the pools. They even have the dog park to try and include the whole family. This family-friendly feeling is further emulated by the various features the resort offers—the two clubhouses along with the two swimming pools, the shuffleboard and pool tables, the dog park, and the fishing pond. One such family who stayed at the park said, "this was our home away from home for the week & I must say we were really impressed with the facilities! Nice friendly staff, good pool, clean showers & bathrooms! Fishing pond & dog park. Good size lots also for us rookie backer-uppers!" Duke says that many patrons also mention the atmosphere of cleanliness the park tries to uphold.
Depending on the season of the year, the typical demographic of the guests at the Port A RV Resort vary. In the summertime—which is the resort's busiest season of operation—visitors are primarily there for the various marine attractions nearby, staying at the resort during the night and then leaving during the day to participate in a plethora of different activities. Duke describes these summer guests to be tourists who come in for a week or weekend for a vacation and then leave. However, during the winter—from the middle of October to springtime—the demographic changes to more long-term patrons. These people come to escape the cold northern drafts and often stay up to three or even four months at a time. Because of this, and because many of the popular marine attractions nearby are closed for the season, Duke and the staff do their best to "entertain" their winter guests. The primary way they do this is by hosting a variety of activities on the property for their visitors to participate in. These include bingo nights, potlucks, music venues with live bands, instructor-led yoga classes, and weekly instructional paint classes with wine. Additionally, the pools at the resort are heated so that guests can still enjoy swimming, and they have aerobic classes. One visitor's review reads, "We have spent the last 3 winters here, and it is amazing during that time of the year. The upkeep of the park is spot on, and the staff is friendly and on-site."
Some of the Port A RV Resort's policies include not parking in empty sites, and of course, respecting the other patrons and the property. The relatively large patio and concrete RV pad at each site may mitigate the first of these since they are able to accommodate a full-sized trailer, the vehicle pulling it, and another compact automobile. The second is something that Duke mentions they don't have to worry about most of the time, finding that most of the time, as long as they are friendly and provide the "Texas Way" service, their guests are respectful in return. Duke also mentions that Port Aransas as a town is known for being a place many people drive golf carts around. It should be noted that currently, the resort doesn't have a legal golf cart crossing across the highway they're built on, though they are hoping to get one soon to accommodate their guests better.
According to Duke, even though the park is relatively new, they are booked out two years in advance. Many of these guests find out about the property through google or word of mouth. However, perhaps the biggest draw to the resort, besides its culture, service, and available amenities, is the location itself and the available attractions and activities nearby. One past guest describes the resort as being a "conveniently located pristine facility with outstanding service and unmatched amenities. Well maintained, family-oriented, and peaceful environment." The town of Port Aransas is located on the bayside of Padre Island, which means it has extensive beach shores that stretch along its coast. Because of this, Duke says that the place has become quite a popular tourist location, especially for marine activities. The Port A RV Resort itself is relatively centrally located to these attractions, only being three-quarters of a mile from the heart of Port Aransas and three to four blocks from the beach. As it is a popular tourist destination, the town boasts a variety of shopping districts, bars, and restaurants, among other things. Duke recommends his summer guests plan and reserve their trip ahead of time due to the number of people vacationing there during the year's warmer months.
Perhaps one of the most popular activities that the area provides is fishing. Besides fishing in the private pond the resort has that they keep stocked with various fish, guests can fish in various other places. Some of these include the Caldwell Pier, the ship channel, off of rocks on the jetties, or simply anywhere along the shore. There are also many fishing guides available guests can hire to go offshore fishing. Surfing is another attraction the area is well known for, even hosting competitions regularly. From the port, guests can find places to take them out on charter boats, bring them parasailing, or rent them jet skis. Beyond all of this, many tourists come to the area solely to enjoy the beach, walking up the sand, or playing in the waves.
A non-marine attraction Duke finds many of the Port A RV Resort visitors take advantage of is Charlie's Pasture, a nature walk and preserve area that winds through the town. This nature walk used to start at the RV resort's property before Hurricane Harvey destroyed it. Most of it has been reconstructed though it hasn't been reconnected to the resort yet. Another non-marine attraction. that also happens to be connected to Charlie's Pasture is the community park. This park features a grass area, playground, a public pool, a skatepark, baseball fields, tennis courts, and picnic tables.
Port A RV Resort has existed for 5 years now. The resort is owned by Gabe Goodman and Patrick Wheeler, with the office managers being Ryan Levine and Duke. Those who stay at the property won't likely see the owners very often but will probably see either of the managers as they are on-site for much of their time. The property originally had a bar called Sharky's on it but was sold to the owners who converted it to the RV resort. They started with only half of what they have today, providing about 100 sites for visitors to use, but within six months, things were picking up at a rapid pace. They then broke ground on the second half of the property, which included the additional 84 sites and a second clubhouse and pool. Shortly after things were picking up, though, Hurricane Harvey occurred, destroying much of the property. Luckily it was more of a quick fix because one of the owners also owns a construction company, and he sent multiple crews in to restore the park to full service. They opened up again shortly after that, filling up most of their sites with other construction workers who were helping to rebuild other parts of the city.
Duke actually first worked in the nearby naval base NAS Corpus Christi as an IT worker. The jobs there rotated often, so when he was let go, he decided to take up an offer that his old surfer friend, Ryan Levine, had given to him to work with him at the RV resort. He bought a trailer and has been living at the resort and working there for the past five years.
They built the resort from the ground up, slowly filling up spaces, and after just a few years of business, they have seen much success, to the point that the summers are booked out for the next two years in advance. The owners of the property have bought a couple of places since creating the RV resort, including a restaurant called Virginia's on the Bay and a swing bar on Port A called Port and Beer Hut. They own a couple of other businesses as well, which is why they aren't on the property very often.