The Dare County Tourism Board received more positive news in the latest report on gross receipts for hotel room and vacation rental occupancy, meals, and overall retail sales at its first meeting of 2023.
While the numbers have remained a few percentage points above the total collected over the last two recording-setting years on the Outer Banks, visitor economy officials caution that the revenue levels reported in 2022 can also be attributed to inflation-driven price increases.
According to figures provided to the board for the month of November, gross revenue from hotels, motels and vacation rentals were $18.5 million. That compares to just $11.3 million in November 2021, an increase of 63 percent.
Through eleven months, 2022 occupancy gross receipts were up by 6.8 percent to $804 million.
Gross receipts on meals increased by 60 percent to nearly $28.2 million in November, with gross receipts up 6.3 percent for the year to $357.5 million.
Retail sales in Dare County through the end of October 2022, the latest figures available at the time of the board meeting, were at $99.59 million, an increase of $5.57 million (5.92%) compared to the first 10 months of 2021.
October 2022 gross retail sales of $10.37 million was on par with last year, growing by just 0.04 percent.
The 13-member Dare County Tourism Board is comprised of a cross section of representatives from local government and the tourism-related business community.
Chairman Tim Cafferty, president of Outer Banks Blue Vacation Services, vice chair and Town of Duck councilwoman Monica Thibodeau, treasurer and Dare County Commissioner Ervin Bateman, and assistant treasurer and Kill Devil Hills Commissioner Ivy Ingram were reelected to new terms.
Kitty Hawk Councilman David Hines was named the committee’s new secretary. Dennis Robinson, marketing manager for Midgett Realty, will serve as chair of the Personnel Committee.
The rest of the board for 2023 includes Mark Ballog, owner of Lucky 12 Tavern and representative from the Outer Banks Restaurant Association; Southern Shores Councilman Leo Holland; Nags Head Mayor Pro Tem Mike Siers; Chris Hess, owner of Outer Banks Internet and representative of the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce; Tonia Cohen, general manager of the Ramada Plaza Oceanfront in Kill Devil Hills and representative of the Outer Banks Hotel/Motel Association; Gray Berryman, a Duck realtor and representative of the Outer Banks Association of Realtors; and Manteo Commissioner Tod Clissold.