PORT ARANSAS, Texas — Golf carts are a large part of the culture in Port Aransas, you can see the vehicles on the beach and driving on the streets around town.
After Hurricane Harvey, Kelby and Rachelle McCan started Sly Customs, a business that sells, repairs, and rents golf carts.
“It was just my dream to do something more custom, and create a place where people can come and customize their carts,” said Rachelle McCan.
The business creates custom golf carts for its customers, upgrades carts with things like sound systems or upgraded tires, and rents out unique carts to people just visiting.
“It’s not fun to be like everybody else, we wanted to change the game, we wanted to bring people a bigger smile," Kelby McCan said. "People came here and had fun on golf carts, now they drive by and you’ll see them take pictures, see them stop and take pictures with the golf carts. It just gives them a better, unique experience that they remember."
Custom carts Sly Customs has made for customers in the past include hot rods and fire trucks.
“They tell us the dream, and we make it happen," Rachelle McCan said. "It's customized each cart to the individual."
Aside from the custom carts, the rental carts all have their own personalities; like “T-Rex,” an eight-passenger, lifted cart that Sly Customs touts as the biggest cart in town, “Joyce,” a hot-rod design named after Rachelle’s mother, “Flamingo,” a pink cart popular for bachelorette parties, carts designed like “Cars” characters Lightning McQueen and Mater, and more.
“Each golf cart is its own little thing here,” Kelby McCan said, “It gets [people] excited about their vacation.”
Like many businesses, Sly Customs was affected in a big way by the pandemic. The business receives parts from China, which caused slowdowns in receiving parts. However, the biggest hit to the business was when Texas closed down beaches.
“If you don’t need to go to the beach, you don’t really need a golf cart,” Kelby McCan said.
“Rentals in general pretty much plummeted, so we were definitely struggling there a little bit in the winter. But, since the beginning of the year, sales have been through the roof,” Rachelle McCan said.
The couple said spring break was a busy week for rentals, and business has remained steady since then.
“People are, I think, more ready to get out, more ready to get on the beach,” Rachelle McCan said. “It’s more of a COVID-friendly thing than anything else, because you’re by yourself, you’re on a cart, you’re outdoors, so there’s not a lot of risk there.”