Once upon a time, when the number of visitors coming to the Outer Banks was perhaps half of what it is today, the highways and roads of the area were adequate to meet transportation needs. That is no longer the case.
We’re starting to get our first glimpse of the 2018 Outer Banks economic picture and the image that is emerging is of a growing and healthy economy. Tourism continues to increase, the real estate market is strong and the indications are that new construction continues to expand.
Now that Publix has entered the Outer Banks supermarketer mix it seems as though the local Grocery Store Wars are kicking into high gear. And with German discount supermarket chain Lidl planning on opening where the now closed Mike Kellys Outer Banks Tavern was, well, the competition is becoming even more intense.
The Outer Banks is well known for the beautiful landscapes and natural beauty. Around every corner, there is more nature and recreational activities to enjoy such as hiking in Nags Head Woods, hang-gliding at Jockey’s Ridge, fishing on Pea Island, kite surfing in Buxton, and watching sunrises on the beach and sunsets on the Pamlico or Currituck sounds. The star of all the attractions, that brings flocks of visitors to the Outer Banks, is the beachfront. One of the jewels of the Outer Banks is the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is known throughout the East Coast as a premier location for surf fishing, surfing, and shelling. Cape Point, located in Buxton, is especially a point of interest, as it is the eastern most beach of the Outer Banks. The Cape Point area juts out stretching very close to the Gulf Stream. Recently, Cape Point has made national news with the formation of an island known of Shelly Island.
That the Outer Banks is a wonderful place to visit is a given. A beautiful setting, soft sand, ideal for a family vacation and reasonably priced compared to most tourist destinations, it makes sense that so many people choose to come.
Do you love HGTV? Of course you do. Who doesn’t love watching all the home shows and seeing the new decor trends or what property values are in different parts of the country? Or better yet, you watch to see the big reveal at the end. Whether it’s a renovation show or a house hunting show there’s always the big reveal at the end. Have you ever wondered how people end up on those shows and what it is like to film a “reality” TV show? Here’s my experience of 30 minutes of fame from HGTV’s Beachfront Bargain Hunt on the Outer Banks.
Did you take notice of the press release earlier this month about a water park coming to the Outer Banks? The plans consist of the construction of an 80 acre park about 2 miles north of the Wright Memorial Bridge. The park is supposed to represent an Outer Banks historical theme with lighthouses, pirates and planes.
It is hard not to overlook the big changes that have occurred over the years for those who have been vacationing or residing on the beaches of the Outer Banks. The beaches may seem to be more crowded attributable to families spreading out their endless amounts of chairs, umbrellas, and coolers, or the same cottage in Kitty Hawk your family stayed in every year since the 1950’s appeared to just vanish in thin air. No, the summer heat is not getting to you, beach erosion is.
I thought it was a good idea to provide an update since it had been a year since we last mentioned offshore drilling, as it relates to the Outer Banks. But then the exciting news came, after I had started writing this, of the Administration’s reversal in the plan to not include the Atlantic as a leasing option. The big talk on the Outer Banks was still all about #NotTheAnswer or #NotTheAnswerNC or #KilltheDrill up until March 15. The local Surfrider Chapter continued to make a lot of noise and was still making national news about saying no to offshore drilling for the Atlantic. The National Chapter really saw this issue as an important one as it ties directly to Surfrider’s mission and came on board with the Not the Answer campaign. Their campaign included a surfboard being passed around to local businesses starting in Florida and it moved up the East Coast ending up with over 1,000 signatures to show that they oppose offshore drilling. That signed surfboard was hand delivered to DC this past February. Well, it seems that the Obama Administration noticed all the opposition and on March 15 the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced a revised proposal for the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022 which removed the mid and south Atlantic lease sales. They elaborated that the removal of these areas makes sense since the revised proposal focuses leases in areas with the highest potential, greatest industry interest and where there is already established infrastructure.
The Mid-Currituck bridge proposal is back on the table and gaining steam. Many are enthusiastically hopeful that the bridge will begin construction sooner rather later. Last time I reported, the skeptics were leading the charge about the bridge not being a possibility. Now there is some hope that the long awaited expanse will create a new frontier to Corolla. Here are the facts based on the latest NC-DOT report.