It seems economic situations, the need for vacations, and time with family has rebound somewhat and the rentals on the Outer Banks are well ahead of last year. Below is an article from the Daily Advance's Cindy Beamon:
By Cindy Beamon
Thursday, May 13, 2010
After taking a heavy hit last year, vacation bookings on the Outer Banks appear to be rebounding for the coming season, particularly for the late summer months.
The tourist season does not officially begin until late May, but the bookings have already begun to look promising, according to area realtors and tourism officials.
Ross Twiddy, director of marketing for Twiddy Realty, said demand for May and June have been slower than last year, but that demand is high for rentals from July to September. “Last year we have seen a lot of uncertainty because of the economy,” said Twiddy. “I think this year we have seen a reduction in the guests’ perception of job uncertainty, and they are willing to book their vacations.
Janice Farr, senior vice president for Sun Realty, agreed. “Rentals are going up a lot from last year,” said Farr, who said her company makes thousands of bookings on the Outer Banks each year. “People are more confident in their current situation. Things have calmed down a little bit, and they are ready for summer vacation.”
Farr and Twiddy both said that vacationers appear to be less conservative than last year about their spending.
Last year, vacationers were looking for discounts, opting for smaller rentals that were farther away from the waterfront, said Farr. To help minimize costs, vacationers were cooking rather than eating out, Retail businesses and restaurants were negatively affected by the trend. Across the board, retails sales were down 10 to 25 percent last year, said Shannon Kinser, president of the Currituck Chamber of Commerce.
This year, vacationers are asking for larger homes that are closer to the waterfront, said Farr. “They are not going whole hog, but they are looking for he right size house for their needs,” Farr said.
Another positive indicator is the number of visits to the Currituck Visitors Center in Moyock this year, said Tourism Director Diane Nordstrom. More than 600 visitors stopped at the center during last week alone, reported Nordstrom. In addition, occupancy tax revenues were up 12 percent in March, normally a slow time for vacation rentals.
“I am hearing through casual conversation that bookings are going well, particularly for summer,” said Nordstrom.
Area retailers and restaurants are also hoping for a better season. “It’s still a little early in the season, but I think people are optimistic. We are keeping our fingers crossed for a good season,” said Kinser,
This summer, Corolla businesses and restaurants will be able to better advertise their offerings. A new county sign ordinance allows businessees off the highway to place sandwich board signs along the highway.
Doug Schmoyer, owner of The Flying Dutchman at the south entrance of the Currituck Club, said the signs help to draw in more business. “I know for a fact that it’s going to benefit,” said Schmoyer. He said he does not think the economy will affect his business. “In another two years, we be back to the way it was,” he said.
Twiddy said he is optimistic about the overall outlook for this year. “I think the Outer Banks is going to have a very lucky season,” he said.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Posted by Jason Summerton at 11:38 AM