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hatteras island is SO money

To many, Hatteras Island is the “real” Outer Banks, boasting miles of uncrowded shoreline, a proud fishing heritage, and a less hurried lifestyle than the northern beaches. But being an island isn’t easy; issues with Highway 12, controversial beach closings, and the Bonner Bridge lawsuit have lately left some wondering if all this island trouble is worth fixing.

This 2013 study, The Hatteras Island Economic Impact Assessment, tries to get a handle on how important the island is to Dare County economically, especially in light of tough issues facing the island. Catherine Cozack, writing for the Outer Banks Voice, gives us the skinny. Happily, it looks like Hatteras is pulling her weight.

Cape Point, Cape Hatteras.

Cape Point, Cape Hatteras.

“A new report by Lane, director of the Center for Competitive Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, shows that about 25 percent of the county’s tourism business in 2011 was on Hatteras Island.

Tourism there generated $204 million of Dare County’s total $877 million in visitor expenditures and nearly $20 million in state and local taxes.

It is the first time the value of real estate and the Outer Banks “brand” have been added to Hatteras’ economic analysis.

“There is a purer version of the Outer Banks that still exists on Hatteras Island,” Lane said in a telephone interview. “A lot of the brand of the Outer Banks is exemplified in Hatteras Island.”

Lane presented findings of the draft report in May at a meeting on the island, but the release of the final Hatteras Island Economic Impact Assessment was announced last week by the bureau.

The intent of the study was largely to better answer the question of the island’s economic importance to Dare County in the context of persistent access issues related to channel shoaling and closures of the beach and highway to drivers.”

Read the rest of the story on the Outer Banks Voice.

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