ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) – New numbers show signs of recovery in Carteret County’s tourism and hospitality industry after coronavirus restrictions forced hotels and businesses to shutdown early in the year.
Places like the DoubleTree Hotel at Atlantic Beach didn’t see much businesses in March or April.
They, like other hotels and vacation rentals experienced losses in occupancy tax revenue. It is when visitors pay for their stay in rooms.
DoubleTree employees say they’ll never be able to make up for the business lost.
“Unfortunately in the hotel business once that day is passed, it’s passed,” said Marty Matfess, chief operating officer at Singh Investment Group, that owns the DoubleTree in Atlantic Beach.
A positive trend, however, shows a higher occupancy tax revenue across Carteret County in June.
Matfess says the moment restrictions were lifted, reservations for hotels rooms were sold out. He believes visitors consider the beach a safe spot during the pandemic.
Atlantic Beach Mayor Trace Cooper said “This is a time where people don’t want to go to Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach or on a plane.”
He’s optimistic about the upcoming months and seeing more visitors in the area after certain school moving to remote learning.
The money from the occupancy tax in Carteret County will be directed to tourism development and beach nourishment.