By Rob Morris on November 22, 2010
As of September, the latest month data was available, motels, rental houses, bed and breakfasts, condos and campgrounds had pulled in $330.4 million so far this year.
That tops the previous all-time high through September — $325.8 million in 2008, according to figures presented to the Dare County Tourism Board last week.
Lee Nettles, managing director of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, said that higher dollar figures do not necessarily mean that more people are renting more houses and rooms.
July was the month that pushed Dare County into the record books, posting $101.7 million in occupancy receipts. Partially accounting for the larger number, however, were five weekends during the month.
Hatteras Island, where businesses say they have been hurt by restrictions on beach access, has seen an increase of 2.87 percent in occupancy receipts through September compared to last year. In Buxton near popular Cape Point, however, the numbers were down by 3.6 percent.
While not setting any records, receipts for meals were up for the year, standing at $159.6 million through September, which is about a $2 million improvement over the same period last year.
The number of people stopping at area attractions and visitors centers were a mixed bag, according to the tourism authority’s figures.
Visits to all of the National Park Service facilities were down slightly through September. Visits were also down at all of the welcome centers except the one at Whalebone Junction.
Jockey’s Ridge State Park, with 1,382,417 visitors, saw an increase over last year, however, and the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island hosted 274,423 people through September compared to 272,632 during the same period last year.