PORT ARANSAS, Texas — New Wave Vacation Rentals has just arrived in Port Aransas with a plan. The “Protect Port A Project” aims to connect vacationers and locals.
“I felt like there’s a lot of animosity, maybe, between some locals, some tourists," said New Wave Vacation Rentals Managing Director Bridget Friday. "Feeling like the tourists come and enjoy the town but don’t leave it better than when they came. And our goal is for everyone to come enjoy Port Aransas just like we all do. We want to make a difference, even if it's a small one, just to have Port Aransas better when they leave."
In each New Wave rental, guests will find a “welcome bucket.” New Wave has partnered with businesses to fill the bucket with local products to attract them to their businesses. But they’ll also find a reusable trash bag in there, to clean up after themselves. Those bags come from a partnership with non-profit Keep Port Aransas Beautiful, and the City of Port Aransas.
“I thought it was great," said Keep Port Aransas Beautiful Chairman Allen Boddie. "It’s been a big project of mine when the city came up with giving us thousands of bags and said 'Here they are: What can you do with them?' We had to come up with a distribution way.”
“I thought it was a great idea," said Pop'd in Port A Manager Shelby Takahashi, a business which has partnered in the effort. "As a resident, I come on to the beach and I hate seeing canopies left over and seeing all kinds of trash on our beach. I mean, this is our home and sometimes people forget that. So, I think it’s a great idea to be able to pick up all the trash; just having people care about our town like the way we do.”
Those guests who return their reusable bag to New Wave, filled with trash, will get a gift card from one of the local partners.
“To control the litter from getting into our oceans and polluting our lakes means a whole bunch," Boddie said. "There’s a lot of organizations today that are doing a lot realizing that we definitely do have a problem."
What would be the impact if people weren't conscientious about cleaning up Port Aransas?
"I don't even want to go there," said Boddie. "It would bring tears to my eyes."
That's why New Wave Vacation Rentals plans to help out in other ways such as partaking in beach cleanups. It will also donate a portion of each booking fee to a different local non-profit each quarter.
"We have a program with the local food shelf, that they (guests) can leave all of their non-perishable, unopened food on the counter and we can deliver it right to the local food shelf, here in town," Friday said.
Also included in the welcome buckets will be these bracelets with Port Aransas colors. They'll also be for sale, with a portion of those sales going to a non-profit as well.
Some of the businesses and non-profits already taking part in the "Protect Port A Project" are Pop'd, Barefoot Beans, Lone Star Taste, Fire it Ceramics, The Shack and Keep Port Aransas Beautiful.
New Wave Vacation Rentals has just begun services this past weekend. Friday says the first guests have responded well to the welcome buckets.
Wanting the business and project to grow, New Wave is looking for more properties to lease out. If you need a property managed or know of some for sale, you can contact New Wave Vacation Rentals on their website.