Carnival could be returning for an eight-week run

By on November 17, 2011

After a wildly successful five-day run for Nags Head’s 50th birthday, a carnival might return to the soundfront Windmill Point site for two months next summer.

The Dare County Tourism Board’s Windmill Point Committee is discussing details for a carnival by Boardwalk Attractions from mid-June to mid-August.

Also under consideration is building or renting an outdoor stage at the site for entertainment until plans are nailed down for a permanent use of the 14-acre site at Milepost 16.

Boardwalk Attractions would hire and train local workers, said Lee Nettles, managing director of the Outer Banks Visitor’s Bureau, and could add more rides.

If the carnival comes to town, trailers would not be set up to house workers as they were for the 50th birthday celebration in June.

Members of the tourism board expressed some concerns at their meeting Thursday that the carnival would preclude other activities on the site and might be perceived as a permanent use.

But the carnival would run from 5 p.m to 11 p.m., and the operator is amenable to other events taking place there.

“So there’s an opportunity to do things prior to the carnival starting,” Nettles said.

As for permanent uses, the Tourism Board on Thursday approved spending up to $100,000 to pay for a study by Heery International, which was chosen from four possible companies to do the work. The expenditure must be approved by the Dare County Board of Commissioners.

The study would include market research and look at similar projects elsewhere to come up with a recommendation that could range from a standalone multi-use facility, a multi-use facility with a hotel or a third use that has not been specified.

Building a hotel and restaurant would probably require buying an adjacent parcel to the north of the land, which is jointly owned by the tourism board and the town of Nags Head.

Part of the property was the site of the old Windmill Point restaurant, which was burned down for fire training last year.

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