Posted by Outer Banks Blue

Summer Starts on the OBX

Today is Memorial Day 2011 which marks the unofficial start to the summer season here on the Outer Banks. There are more cars on the road, the restaurants and shoppes are bustling with activity, and our vacation rental properties are springing to life once again after months of rest. In short, the Outer Banks is alive and well again!

I along with the entire staff of Outer Banks Blue and indeed the population of the Outer Banks extend a warm and generous welcome to all of our summer visitors! This summer season promises to be a great one. Recent studies show that 3 out of 4 families are planning a summer vacation of some sort this summer, and the OBX is a great and traditional family vacation. I think I speak for all OBX locals when I say we take great pride in that and we work hard to ensure our visitors feel welcome.

Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce's Angie Brady Daniels is one of the true ambassadors of hospitality here on the Outer Banks and recently she sent a reminder to Outer Banks Chamber members that is worthy of sharing regarding our spirit of welcome here on the OBX.

"We recognize the importance of greeting the visitor at the front counter and being polite on the phone. We speak with a softer voice while in the office and watch our body language so that our message is warmly received. We smile even when the news we are giving might not be the "answer" our guests want to hear. The cottage is not ready yet, the rain will be here all week, the lighthouse is not open for climbing today, the hot tub cannot be repaired until next week....but beyond the office, our work area, how do we treat our guests? How do we react to them in the grocery store? on the beach? at the movie theatre? at the July 4th fireworks? or even in our CARS?
Have you looked on the back of your car lately? A few years ago the three letters OBX became a symbol of us. We adopted with pride those three letters and started putting them on everything. We made stickers, t-shirts, flags, boogie boards, beach towels...made a business of selling the OBX logo and name to our visitors. We took great pride in traveling to other communities on vacation and seeing our shirts on their beaches, our stickers on their cars in big cities.

Then, we decided that this was such a great thing that we wanted something special just for ourselves. We asked our elected officials to lobby for OBX license tags....tags that would label us as locals. Visitors could have the OBX in an oval for the front of their car but only those who actually lived on the Outer Banks and paid taxes here would have the ones on the back.
I, for one, love my tag. Wherever I travel, it shows where I'm from and people ask me about it. I can pick out my neighbors and friends along the highway anywhere I travel, even here on my OBX.
Point? Our visitors to the area can also pick us out on the highway. Those special OBX tags show each other and our visitors that yes, we are LOCALS. This is OUR beach and we are the keepers of it...the hospitality crew....welcoming guests to help them feel at home ALL THE TIME.
Not just in the office, not just in the restaurant, the retail shop, at the golf course, in line at the grocery store but ANYTIME we are on the highway. They are watching, receiving our messages, whatever they are.This is Memorial Day Weekend and the real start of our summer season. Through the ups and downs of the economy, tourism has remained strong on the Outer Banks. We are not the only beach there is to travel to, not the least expensive, not the closest or easiest to get to but they come here because of the hospitality, the way we welcome our guests, the way we go the extra our offices, in our restaurants, in our shops, at the grocery store, in the urgent care centers, and in our cars....."
As we embark on a new summer season we all welcome you as you travel to the OBX. We look forward to serving you, and when we see you on the road. Take a moment to notice our OBX license plates, and know when you see a gentle wave or a smile from one of us at the next stoplight that we appreciate you, and thank you for being a visitor to the Outer Banks!

All the best from the beach!
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