March 2024 occupancy and meals numbers up modestly from a year ago

By on June 10, 2024

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By Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

Just released numbers by The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau report modest upticks in March 2024 occupancy and meals collections compared to March 2023 numbers‚ÄĒtaking a small chunk out of the year-to-date deficits.

On the occupancy side, March 2024 dollars (at $23.9 million) were up 4.12% over the March 2023 collections, leaving the overall collections down 24.36% for the first quarter of 2024.

On the meals side, March 2024 collections were up only 1.95% (at $19.4 million) compared to March of last year, leaving the 2024 numbers down 6.08% for the first quarter of the year.

The big reason for numbers being down thus far in 2024 to date was the January report, which showed that occupancy and meal collections had dropped 52% and 26% respectively from the January 2023 numbers.

The February 2024 results were more mixed, with occupancy collections down 10.67% compared to the February 2023 numbers and meals up 5.27% over the previous year’s numbers.

These less gaudy occupancy and meals numbers should be viewed in a larger context of major growth in both categories spurred by the tourism boost during the COVID pandemic years.

Looking over the past decade, for example, occupancy collections stood at about $414 million in 2014. In 2023, that number virtually doubled to $826 million. On the meals side, the $225 million in 2014 collections ballooned to $389 million in 2023, a 73% increase.

Those gains far outpaced inflation, which grew at about 31% in total from 2014-2024, with an annual average rate of about 2.74%, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Click here to view the Dare County Tourism Board Recap | May 2024.


Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: RooÔ¨Āng

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).


See what people are saying:

  • Ed

    If scrounging for every last tourist dollar is what got us to this situation where we cater to developers, endure endless rude tourists and second homeowners, never build a bridge and no one local can afford a house, then let’s keep doing it and never try anything else.

    How abou reporting an increase as a negative? How about reporting a slowdown as a success? Greed does not in fact work. Greed is not good.

    Tuesday, Jun 11 @ 6:09 am
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