Hurricane Florence Still Hitting Beach Bookings

With the 2018 holiday season in full swing, nearly a third of Wrightsville Beach’s hotel rooms remain unavailable for booking because of damage caused by Hurricane Florence.

Two of the island’s three major resorts were forced to close for repairs after the storm, which made landfall near Wrightsville Beach on Sept. 14. Both the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, 275 Waynick Blvd., and Shell Island Resort, 2700 N. Lumina Avenue, remain inoperable.

“There may be some vacation rentals and individual rooms in ‘open’ hotels that were/are offline due to damage,” Nelson explained. “It is difficult to get an accurate count on every room that was not rentable and for how long.”  

Regardless of the exact numbers, the loss of rooms available to rent means a revenue loss for New Hanover County. The county collects a 6 percent room occupancy tax (ROT) from short-term rentals.

Wrightsville Beach ROT collections were down 20 percent during September, over the previous year, according to officials. ROT money is used for funding beach renourishment and tourism initiatives.

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