Three Galveston County community banks have worked together on financing for a $13 million expansion of the Port of Galveston’s Cruise Terminal No. 2. Texas First Bank, HomeTown Bank and Moody National Bank each pitched in for the unique funding package for the expansion of Cruise Terminal No. 2 to accommodate larger vessels and more passengers.

When completed next spring, Cruise Terminal No. 2 will feature 150,000 square feet of space and have a seating capacity of 1,600 passengers. The port currently handles over one million cruise passengers a year and is the 4th busiest cruise port in the nation–and ranks among the top 20 in the world.

“We are fortunate to have community-minded bankers who understand the benefits the entire area derives from improving our capabilities,” said Port Director Michael Mierzwa. “The terminal expansion means we will be better able to serve a growing number of passengers who will sleep in our hotels, dine in our restaurants and shop in our stores, spreading the economic impact throughout the Galveston Bay region.”

Mierzwa said the teamwork exhibited by the three local banks sends a strong message to the cruise industry and other companies looking to grow in Galveston County. “When they see local financial institutions willing to work together like this,” he said, “they realize they have come to the right place at the right time. It bodes well for the future of our entire area.”

“We’re deeply grateful for the leadership of the three banks for making this project possible,” Mierzwa said. “Moody National Bank President Victor Pierson, Texas First Bank President and CEO Christopher C. Doyle, and HomeTown Bank President and CEO Jimmy Rasmussen were with us every step of the way. In addition, I’d like to recognize the work of HomeTown Bank Executive Vice President Scott Kusnerik, Moody National Bank Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer Mark Wilson, Moody National Bank Senior Vice President Michael Lerner, and Texas First Bank Assistant Vice President Sean Doyle.”

“We also appreciate the cooperation of the City of Galveston, City Council, and our own Port staff for their monumental efforts in helping us makes this great expansion possible. Everyone had a role to play, everyone pitched in with a spirit of cooperation, and everyone demonstrated what a community can do through teamwork.”

The Port of Galveston, Texas’ Star Cruise Port serves as the primary point of embarkation for cruises to the Western Caribbean and the Bahamas, and beginning in 2015 the Eastern Caribbean. Two cruise lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Royal Caribbean International, sail from Texas’ premiere cruise port.