22 members named to OBX Long-Range Tourism Management Plan Task Force

By on December 1, 2023

(The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau)

(Photo credit: Neel Keller OBV/file photo)

At its November meeting, the Dare County Tourism Board reviewed recommendations for appointment to the Outer Banks Long-Range Tourism Management Plan (LRTMP) Special Committee/Task Force and unanimously approved the selection of 22 community members to this group. The intent of this committee is to evaluate the strategic goals outlined in the LRTMP, make recommendations to the Dare County Tourism Board for action and further implement adopted recommendations.

“The individuals in this group represent a mix of local leaders, professionals across industries and interests, and concerned residents. We’re all affected by tourism and all committed to directing its impacts more positively in our community,” states Lee Nettles, Executive Director of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau. The first generation of this task force was formed to facilitate the creation of the LRTMP, which was published in May 2023 following an extensive 18-month process that incorporated feedback from local residents, community stakeholders and non-resident property owners.

The group helped identify opportunities and challenges for the Outer Banks as both a travel destination for visitors and sustainable community for residents to live, work and play in Dare County. Many of the individuals who served on the original group have agreed to press forward and serve on the newly formed Special Committee. To complement input from standing committee members, Dare County residents and non-resident property owners were encouraged to apply for a select number of resident seats on this task force, with over 100 applications submitted for consideration in less than one week.

Appointed Members of the Special Committee of the Dare County Tourism Board include:


Mike Remige, Director, Jennette’s Pier


Dare County Board of Commissioners/County Government

Bobby Outten, County Manager, Dare County


Dare County Tourism Board/Outer Banks Visitors Bureau

Dennis Robinson, Dare County Tourism Board Personnel Committee Chair, Hatteras Island Member at Large; Chief Technology Officer, Midgett Realty

Lee Nettles, Executive Director, Outer Banks Visitors Bureau



Dr. Shannon Castillo, CTE Director, Dare County Schools

Tim Sweeney, Dean, College of the Albemarle – Dare Campus


Environmental Agency or Group

Dr. Reide Corbett, Executive Director, Coastal Studies Institute


Hatteras Island Business

Natalie Kavanagh, Frisco Rod & Gun



Ronnie Sloan, President, Outer Banks Health


Infrastructure (Housing/Transportation)

Donna Creef, Government Affairs Director, Outer Banks Association of Realtors


Lodging Business

Tim Cafferty, President, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services

Jamie Chisholm, Director of Sales, Hilton Garden Inn – Kitty Hawk



Elizabeth Morey, Mayor, Town of Southern Shores


National Park Service

David Hallac, Superintendent, National Parks of Eastern North Carolina


Non-Profit Organization

Jessica Barnes, Director, Outer Banks Forever

Chris Sawin, President and CEO, Outer Banks Community Foundation


Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce

Karen Brown, President and CEO, Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce



Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy (Rodanthe), Staff Writer, The Coastland Times

Chris Vlahos (Non-Resident Property Owner, Kitty Hawk), Owner, Barefoot Bernie’s Tropical Grill & Bar

Nick Graham (Nags Head), Insurance Producer, Standard Insurance & Realty

Augusta Feldmann (Rodanthe), Forensic Healthcare Consultant, KPMG


Restaurant Business

Mark Ballog, Owner, Lucky 12 Tavern


“I am excited for the next phase of the Long-Range Tourism Management Plan and look forward to working with this committee to impact positive change for our locals and visitors,” notes Dennis Robinson, who was appointed as the Chair of this Special Committee and also serves as the Dare County Tourism Board’s Personnel Committee Chair and Hatteras Island Member at Large, as well as Chief Technology Officer at Midgett Realty. “It is a great responsibility to be able to help shape the sustainable growth of tourism in Dare County. This will not only require tremendous thought leadership and vision from this group, but the involvement of the entire community to be successful.”

Initial ideas include keeping this group informed with regular progress updates, creating feedback loops so ideas and constructive input can be shared, providing access to educational experiences with industry experts and receiving invitations to attend in-person LRTMP events throughout the year.

In addition, Dare County organizations or associations who are interested in the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau attending an upcoming meeting to discuss the LRTMP in greater detail are encouraged to reach out to Jeff Schwartzenberg, Community Engagement Manager, at schwartzenberg@outerbanks.org or 252-473-7155.


About the Long-Range Tourism Management Plan

The LRTMP was published in May 2023, following an 18-month process begun by the Dare County Tourism Board and executed by the staff of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau and partners at MMGY NextFactor and Tourism Economics. The comprehensive plan, which included creating a special task force and curating the input of hundreds of tourism community stakeholders and thousands of Dare County residents, provides a roadmap for the future to ensure that tourism preserves and benefits the environment, culture and quality of life for residents while enhancing visitor experience.


  • WasteOfTime

    Woohoo. Another Committee! These Committee Appointments do look good on ones resume. Another group to tell the locals how to adjust our lives so we can kiss the butts of the visitors. Exactly what we need! Thank you kind sir, may I have another.

    Friday, Dec 1 @ 8:07 pm
  • Just Another Mike

    Nothing ensures failure like 22 people on a Government charted committee. Only thing missing is they should have called it a blue-ribbon commission.

    Saturday, Dec 2 @ 8:37 am
  • What a Joke

    Looking down the list it is obvious that the Tourism Board picked a group of people who they knew would be supportive of the Tourism Board agenda for their gas lighting BS task farce.

    It is so obvious that it really is a joke. For example, they have one restaurant owner listed under “Restaurant Business”. Then under “Residents” they actually list a guy who is a “Non-Resident” [I’m not making this up] who also happens to another restaurant owner. What a coinkydink.

    Saturday, Dec 2 @ 10:18 am
  • Arthur Pewty

    Priority #1: Disband the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau

    Saturday, Dec 2 @ 2:16 pm
  • Dan-O

    Zero reason for Outten or Nettles to be on another “committee.” If they were doing their jobs vis-a-vis tourism, one would not need to form another wasteful task force. Things are Pythonesquely absurd in Dare County.

    Sunday, Dec 3 @ 7:47 am
  • Sandflea

    WT#? Nothing like the fox guarding the henhouse. Looking at this from 30,000 feet it’s quite obvious what’s going on. It’s as self serving as self serving can get.

    Sunday, Dec 3 @ 9:49 am
  • Koo Flocks

    I 🤔 we residents form a committee to abolish the long term tourism committee. Then vote out the rascals who came up the 🐦 🧠 idea to form the group in the first place 😄. #cleanupOBXgovt

    Sunday, Dec 3 @ 12:46 pm
  • R Wiggum

    It started with hiring a firm to tell us ways to promote sustainable tourism that doesn’t trash our home.

    It ended with a committee festering with greed for more tourism. Great job Lee.

    Sunday, Dec 3 @ 4:40 pm
  • Diane Fischer

    I applaud our county for finding ways to focus on securing a quality experience for tourism throughout our area. However, I am wondering if anyone will take time to grapple with a key factor in increased AND improved tourism efforts….WHERE will employees find affordable housing? Increasing tourism efforts, increases the need for more people working throughout the industry, to provide effective experiences for our visitors, as well as improve the quality of life for locals. With a recent withdrawal of a developer wanting to build affordable housing, I feel this underscores the needs to be addressed either before or concurrently with the committee’s efforts.

    Sunday, Dec 3 @ 9:46 pm
  • charlie

    It is not who has been selected to be on the committee…It is who is not on the committee…a fireman, a police officer, a front line healthcare provider, a high school student (like one who is a lifeguard in summer). a waiter or waitress, a clerk from any store, a garbage collector, a weekend housing cleaner, a retiree, an oldtimer, a teacher, a minister….But an obvious choice, one who has the pulse of the community, one who sees the good and the bad, one who listens to everybody, the one who can cut through baloney with a pinky finger….i am referring to a BARTENDER…

    I’ll stack up my committee against the one selected (and what was the criterior for selection) by the tourism folks any day of the week…

    Monday, Dec 4 @ 8:53 am
  • Randolph

    Just a question – why is it the resident taxpayers’ responsibility to build “affordable” housing? I get the argument that businesses are supposedly suffering because there is a workforce shortage, but then is it not the responsibility of those businesses to solve the problem? Maybe the business owners should negotiate an affordable housing agreement for their employees or provide the housing themselves. Is not obtaining a sufficient workforce for one’s business a cost of doing business? Perhaps the island has reached a saturation point and there are already too many tourism support businesses to be viably sustained. Maybe this is just an economic correction of an over-extended tourism industry. I guess we could ask the Special Committee members as it seems to be filled with plenty of business owners in search of self-serving ways to solve the riddle at taxpayer expense.

    Monday, Dec 4 @ 10:55 am
  • Mike Williams

    It should be called the gaslighting task-force

    Monday, Dec 4 @ 11:08 am
  • Currituck

    Let’s ration the available rentals. Have a couple lotteries each year to see who gets to rent out their property and which people get to rent them. Of course I am being ridiculous.

    This committee is another waste of time. Par for the course.


    Sunday, Dec 10 @ 5:18 pm