Tourism Board considers restaurant purchase

Published 9:23 am Saturday, September 28, 2019

Major discussion topics for the September 19 Dare County Tourism Board meeting included interest in acquiring Pamlico Jack’s Restaurant, a buyout of Nags Head’s interest in The Soundside Event Site and a boardwalk from The Soundside Event Site south to the outlet mall.

“All are big ticket items,” said Dare County Tourism Board executive director Lee Nettles.

Nettles went on to say Pamlico Jack’s would be the priority because all other parts of the puzzle revolve around that location.

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Overlooking the Roanoke Sound, Pamlico Jack’s Restaurant is located at 6708 South Croatan Highway in Nags Head. The Soundside Event Site sits on 10 acres of land next door at 6906 South Croatan Highway.

“Even if we acquire the property,” he continued, “that is just the beginning. The site would have to be transitioned for tourism use. It would not continue as a restaurant.”

Coupled with buying out Nags Head’s interest in the event site is a determination on what to do with the former South Beach Grill property. Nettles said it wouldn’t be prudent to get rid of it and then find there was a need.

After a closed session to discuss a position on negotiating a purchase or lease price for the Pamlico Jack’s property for use with The Soundside Event Site, attorney W. Jay Wheless advised that negotiating agents for the board have been instructed and that there was nothing else to report.

The board also discussed the benefits of a soundside boardwalk and approved a Soundside Event Site Advisory Committee.

Also on hand for the meeting were representatives from Hoffman York out of Milwaukee, Wis.

According to Nettles, Hoffman York will be helping the Tourism Board with media planning, marketing, display and email communications.

During a brief presentation, Hoffman York account director Angie Buchanan explained that the company has been around since 1933 and while tourism is a specialty, her company works with a broad range of agencies.

“Everything is tied to research,” said Buchanan. “We believe that ideas matter and we try to give you a return on your ideas.”

With Buchanan at the meeting was media supervisor Nick Johnson, who advised that Hoffman York began working with the Tourism Board July 1 and has already been involved in combating negative press from Hurricane Dorian.

According to Johnson, a plan for the coming year will include building additional interest in visiting the Outer Banks in the eight states that provide most of the area’s visitors: Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, New York, Maryland, Ohio and South Carolina.

The marketing plan will likely target specific metropolitan areas such as Charlottesville, Tidewater and the Roanoke-Lynchburg areas of Virginia as well as Greenville and New Bern in North Carolina.

Buchanan added that the initial goal is to improve on the current three percent growth rate, with an adjustment based on actual performance.

Other business for the day included approving 21 of the 23 grant requests reviewed. Of the $355,898 requested in the first of two grant windows this year, $195,00 went out with awards based on projected income on return for the dollar.

Visitation counts for August showed an increase at several sites. Jockey’s Ridge posted the largest jump with 62,090 more visitors than in 2018. National Park Service numbers were not available.



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