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NCDOT & SELC Negotiating Solution to Bonner Bridge

The joint press release issued by NCDOT and the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) letting everyone know they were working on a compromise that will allow the Bonner Bridge replacement to go forward caught everyone by surprise.

The two organizations have been fighting it out in court for the past three years with no end in sight and in a lot of ways for all that time, energy and money they were right back where they started from. 

Although they weren’t quite back where they started from. Here’s the non lawyer read on what motivated this. 

When the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals decided the case, they ruled that on the one hand, NCDOT had fulfilled the provisions of the law in issuing their Environmental Impact Statement. However, they agreed with the SELC that the state had improperly applied a part of the law pertaining to the original intent and plans for a road through Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge when it was created in 1937.

The ruling for the SELC stopped the project dead in its tracks. The problem for the SELC is that it will not stop the project permanently in its tracks. NCDOT will find a way to comply . . . it’s just a matter of time. 

The much bigger issue really is the Environmental Impact Statement and in ruling for the state, the court guaranteed that at some point the project will go forward.

However, from NCDOT’s standpoint the sooner this project get moving the better; construction costs are rising and repairs to the old Bonner Bridge are becoming more expensive, time consuming and difficult.

So—no one know exactly what they’re negotiating, but it seems clear why they’re talking.

Great Conditions for ESA Finals

Today was not a good day to go swimming but for the competitors at ESA Championships at Jennette’s Pier it was a great day on the water.

A stiff NE breeze kept the surf choppy, but the shore break had some good 4'-5' waves. The break had moved away from the beach so competitors were getting some good long rides.

The Eastern Surf Association—thats the ESA—has been holding their East Coast championships in Nags Head for a number of years, and the level of competition is great. It’s an amateur competition but the qualifying rounds include district and regional matches to qualify for the big event.

Something that really stands out about the ESAs is how inclusive they are. The age range is from 11 and under to the grand legends—65 and up. . . . and every category is filled with competitors.

They also include body boards and are branching out to include SUPs as well.

The event wraps up on Friday with Saturday as an emergency makeup day. For anyone who’s on  the Outer Banks or in the area, stop by and check it out. Take in the competition for a half hour or 45 minutes, then wander up to Jennette’s Pier; spend an hour or so there, then head over to Sam and Omie’s for a late lunch or early dinner. 

Not a bad way to spend a day.

Bluegrass, ARtrageous & Outer Banks Fun

We’ve mentioned before how much there is to do on the Outer Banks in the fall, and this year is certainly no exception. There is one weekend coming up at the end of this month that really looks as though it’s going to be packed so we thought we would call attention to how much is happening.

The last weekend of the month has one huge event that draws people from all over the country and a smaller really fun event that families with kids especially may wish to try to fit into their schedule.

The big event is the 3rd Annual Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo. The festival has gotten bigger and bigger every year and this year founder and organizer, Cory Hemilright, has really outdone himself, brining in Ricky Skaggs as the headliner on Saturday night.

It’s a four day affair, starting on Thursday and running through Sunday, and even if Saturday does not work into the schedule, try to get to the event on Friday when Rhonda Vincent and the Flame will be headlining. This is the third year she has made the trip to the Outer Banks, and after hearing her perform twice, we can say she will  change your perception of what bluegrass music is forever.

The other event is the 25th Annual Artrageous Festival, Staurday, September 27 at Rec Park in Kill Devil Hills. Sponsored by the Dare County Arts Council, they will be lots of arts and craft projects for kids, artist demonstrations, music, booths and it’s all free. 

Check it out—you’ll have a great time.


Autumn is Wedding Season on the Outer Banks

Chateau Elan in Pine Island

It’s September, which means it’s the fall wedding season on the Outer Banks. For couples who are planning on getting married this year, it may be a little too late for a beach wedding, but looking forward, there is still spring and fall coming up.

In many ways, though, fall is the best time of the year for an Outer Banks wedding. The weather stays pleasantly warm through mid October and usually later than that. The peak season crowds are gone—as are peak season rental rates—but there are still enough visitors here that local businesses remain open so there will be plenty for your guests to do.

Here at Brindley Beach we have a number of properties perfect for weddings or large gatherings, including our Chateau Elan in Pine Island that can accommodate up to 125 guests.

In addition to our many properties that can handle all but the largest wedding celebrations, we have also researched some of the best service providers and listed them on our Special Events Page.

For couples thinking about an Outer Banks wedding, take some time and come visit us at Brindley Beach Vacations. Now is the perfect time to start planning your special event in the most special place around.

A Little Outer Banks History

When we write about the Outer Banks we tend to report on what is happening now or upcoming events. But there is an extraordinary history associated with this string of barrier islands, so we thought we would glance back over 500 years or so and put three facts about the history of the Outer Banks that may or may not be well known.

The Corolla wild mustangs probably came ashore in the mid to late 1500s. No one is sure exactly how or when they got here, but the most likely scenario has them swimming ashore from a shipwreck. It is also possible that Spanish Conquistadors exploring the coast brought horses ashore, but left them here when they departed.

The Whalehead Club began its life as a vacation getaway for wealthy industrialist Edward Collins Knight and his wife Marie Lebel. The couple named their getaway Corolla Island.

It was not until Ray Adams purchased the property after the couple’s death that it was renamed the Whalehead Club in a first attempt to market Corolla as a tourist destination.

There were over 50 private hunt clubs surrounding Currituck Sound at one time. In fact, one of the first, if not the first, chartered private hunt club in the United States was the Currituck Club, incorporated in 1857. The club owned the land that the Currituck Club Golf Course and homes are now located.

Outer Banks Upcoming Events

Continuing a theme we’ve written about before—just because the calendar says summer is done, doesn't mean we’ve crawled under a rock and gone to sleep here on the Outer Banks.

Coming up tomorrow, Saturday, in Southern Shores, the 6th Annual Throwdown Surf Classic at the Chicahauk Beach Access in Southern Shores. This is always a fun event that really focusses on younger surfers . . . . although adults get in the action as well. Always a fundraiser, this year the proceeds will benefit Sonny Albarty, a local 12-year-old who had a double lung transplant back in May of this year.

Coming up next week, it’s the ESAs—Eastern Surf Association Championships—at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head. One of the best amateur surfing contests around and a for anyone who really enjoys surfing, a must see event.

Tyrannosaurus Trek has been wowing everyone who has seen it at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island since it opened in May. All things must come to an end, and it will be coming down on Tuesday the 9th. Last weekend to see it, so if you haven’t get over to Manteo and check it out.

A quick note for our owners—Brindley Beach Vacations will be holding our annual owner’s party on October 11, with an oyster roast on the 12th. That’s Columbus Day Weekend . . . a good time to visit.

Summer in September

The calendar is saying the Outer Banks summer season is over, but the roads are saying something else entirely. Maybe it’s the weather—which is very summerlike—maybe there are delayed school openings somewhere, but there can be no doubt that for the first week of September, there are still a lot of visitors here.

It is part of a trend that has been steadily growing over the past few years—the shoulder seasons, especially the fall, are becoming busier and busier. That’s certainly good news for our Brindley Beach property owners. 

The make-up of our visitors is different this time of the year, which is important information to keep in mind when marketing a property. There are three distinct groups that constitute Outer Banks vacationers in the shoulder season: wedding parties, okder and retired couples and younger families with children who are not yet in school.

Especially for wedding parties and younger families, the drop in rental rates are an important part of the decision to come to the Outer Banks in the at this time of the year. 

For older couples—although price is important—a chance to experience the Outer Banks without the summertime hustle and bustle is also an important part of their decision.

There are other reasons and groups that can be targeted in marketing your property in the shoulder season. Property owners, contact our property management professionals here at Brindley Beach Vacations and let’s explore how we can work together.


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