Twenty-four million dollars for a new pavilion at Stewart Beach, because the current one isn't attracting tourists.

1. The city removes sand from the parking lot, turning it into a swamp. Why not put the dredged sand into building up the level so water will drain into the Gulf?

2. Traffic flow is terrible. They need to create multiple lanes out. People aren't going to visit when it takes them two hours to leave.

3. Current pavilion is dirty and smells. Let a private contractor run it, put up snack bars, refreshment trucks on the beach where the people are. Very few people visit the pavilion because it's inaccessible and poorly run.

4. Things that might attract tourists and stimulate improvement of the blighted area on seawall — a boardwalk from 12th Street to the parking area, tennis, pickle ball, basketball courts, a mini golf course between 12th and the parking area.

A new pavilion will only temporarily help at a huge expense to taxpayers, and in a few years be in the same condition as the old one. The city needs to think outside the box — privatize the entire operation; really do things the tourists would use and attract them.

Bill Valentine

Galveston

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(2) comments

Steve Fouga

I think Mr. Valentine's suggestion should be examined, if it hasn't already. Maybe a commercial venture could turn a profit at Stewart Beach. I doubt it, but it should be looked at.

My opinion is different, based on my own experiences on Galveston's beaches. It's basically this: fix the parking and provide restrooms with showers -- problem solved. No elaborate facilities are needed, because most tourists don't care -- they come for the beach, not the buildings. No shops and food courts are needed, because they're not on the beach to shop, and they either bring their own food or eat elsewhere. Plus, don't we WANT them to eat elsewhere? Wouldn't we rather have the parking turnover and a meal downtown or on 14th rather than their buying a hotdog in the pavilion?

I apologize for re-stating from another thread, but I think this bears repeating: I've spent at least hundreds, probably thousands, of hours on Galveston beaches, and less than an hour, total, in the pavilions. I bet most -- no, nearly all -- visitors' experiences have been similar.

JD Arnold

All good points Steve. I might add, pedestrian overhead crosswalks. I am always amazed that tourists and children aren't harmed more often when crossing the blvd.

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