Station One, 8 bedrroms of luxuray on the ocean front in Corolla. Perfect for a wedding or event.

We’re coming to the end of 2015 reporting for occupancy on the Outer Banks and the picture that  is emerging is an image of a robust, healthy economy. That, of course, doesn’t speak to individual property owners or to everything that happened over the course of the year, but in looking at the reports the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau (OBVB) have posted, it’s apparent that Dare County—the heart of the Outer Bank— has had a very good year.

The reporting is complete through November and both the Dare County and the northern beaches (everything north of Hatteras Island) have already exceeded last year’s occupancy revenue—and by a considerable margin.

These are just numbers and again they do not tell individual stories, but taken in total, some interesting observations can be made—especially with the Wedding Expo this weekend. Nothing is going to change the strength of June, July and August—those are the traditional vacation times and they continue to dominate. However, the largest percentage increase over the past 15 years—OBVB reports go back to 2001—has been in the shoulder seasons, months that are often associated with weddings.

As an example, in May of 2001 occupancy revenue was reported as $13,082,601; this past year it was $29,618,042, a 126% increase. If the 2001 figure had just kept pace with inflation revenue for the month would have been $17,994,848. May is the strongest month of this group, but every month in the shoulder season far outstripped inflation for the period.

That doesn’t mean 2015 didn’t have its hiccups; Independence Day fell on a Saturday this year and the impact was obvious. Although June and July managed to eke out gains, they were minimal.

Nonetheless, the story the numbers tell seems clear— summer will continue to be the most important season for property owners, but it is important to keep in mind that weddings and the shoulder seasons are a marriage that should be considered.