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      South Padre Island Business Booming

      South Padre Island officials said Tuesday that business is booming on the tourist town, and they expect nothing less for the 4th of July holiday. Mayor Robert Pinkerton said at least 45,000 vehicles cross the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway to get to the Island.

      Pinkerton said that over the past five years, the Island has profited nearly $2 million from its hotel motel tax revenue- which Pinkerton estimates means visitors are pumping over $90 million into the Island TMs economy.

      Just seven months in, Pinkerton said this year is already proving to be the best - economically " in the past decade.

      "It started in January with the Winter Texans, Spring Break, Easter week, Pinkerton said. and then the weekends have been good every single weekend - we had a good Memorial Day - so the rest of the summer looks good as well."

      Island Assistant City Manager Darla Jones attributes the tourist town TMs booming success in part, to the safety offered on the Island, especially those with families.

      "We have a wonderful police department, fire department, we now have emergency medical services, and of course our beach patrol has expanded to our (Cameron) County parks, which has already proven successful."

      Jones also said that monthly revenue figures have been increasing steadily.

      Pinkerton said the revenue numbers in addition to new restaurants opening their doors this summer, show signs of a recovering economy.

      "Not only does the Island need it, but the Lower Rio Grande Valley needs it," Pinkerton said.

      South Padre Island will kick off it TMs 4th of July festivities at 10 a.m. with a parade starting at Beach Access 22 and ending at Beach Access 17. Free watermelon and water will be served and there will be games including tug-of-war. The day will end with the traditional fireworks over the bay starting at 9:15 p.m.