Tourism income looking decent, even on Hatteras

By on May 21, 2013

moneyFueled in part by an early Easter this year, a financial recap for the first quarter provided by Dare County’s Tourism Board was mostly positive.

Tax collections on retail sales were up 2.39 percent for the first two months of 2013, with a total of almost $4.4 million.

Gross meal sales were up slightly in the first quarter, posting a 2.5 percent increase over 2012 with $21.7 million in revenues.

Through March, gross occupancy realized significant gains in the bed and breakfast category (60.2 percent) and campgounds (17.3 percent).

Gross rental home occupancy through March checked in at $9.5 million, a 22.5 percent increase over 2012, while timeshare units saw occupancy revenues increase 132 percent.

The only areas experiencing declines were traditional cottage courts (-6 percent) and motel/hotels (-6.15 percent), but it should be noted The Sanderling in Duck was closed for all of the first quarter.

Total gross occupancy revenues through March in all categories totaled $14.3 million, a 10.7 percent increase over 2012’s $12.9 million revenue figure.

One of the more pleasant surprises centered on Hatteras Island.

The southern end of Dare County has been plagued by access issues stemming from Hurricane Sandy and a series of powerful nor’easters that washed out N.C. 12 several times in late 2012.

However, Hatteras posted a 25 percent increase in gross occupancy, with $4.7 million in gross revenues for 2013 versus $3.78 million in 2012.

The northern beaches were up $9.2 million (5.88 percent) while Roanoke Island saw a 13 percent decrease.

The Visitors Bureau’s 2013-14 proposed budget presented last week reflected no significant changes and even included decreases in group health insurance, workers comp, property/liability and retirement.

The Grants Committee approved $7,300 in TAG grants to the N.C. Aquarium Society for a pro-am Beach Volleyball tournament to be held in late August at the Jennette’s Pier location.

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