Surf City Beach Access at Roland Ave. was closed to the public after Florence (Photo: Town of Surf City)

Topsail beaches shaping up for successful tourist season

Much of the damage in Topsail Beach, Mayor Howard Braxton Jr. said, was to the dunes, which nevertheless did their job of protecting homes and infrastructure from the storm.

SURF CITY -- The year 2018 ended on a sour note, as far as the area’s beach communities were concerned – thanks to Hurricane Florence. But the prospects for a lively and successful 2019 are all positive, according to Surf City and Topsail Island officials, a couple of Realtors and to Pender County Tourism Director Tammy Proctor, who invited them and the media to a storm-recovery update in Surf City on Tuesday morning.

Cleanup at both beaches is all but complete, businesses are up and running, most damaged houses are already renovated or in the pipeline for their repairs, and then there is the recent opening of the spectacular new bridge serving the islands, which will ease the ingress and egress of tourists when the warm weather arrives for good.

The best indication of a booming tourist trade this year is likely the pre-season rental contracts already signed and secured with 50 percent deposits, according to Realtor Cathy Medlin. “Houses are booking up earlier than they ever did before,” she said. “Past guests are calling, and they are so thrilled to hear that ‘their’ house is going to be ready for the summer.”

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