The Outer Banks Voice – Dare Board Steps Towards Event Site Walk
Dare Board takes a step towards the promenade of the event site
By Michelle Wagner | Outer Banks Voice on May 4, 2021
Plans for a walk to the Soundside event site in Nags Head took a step forward on May 3 when Dare County Commissioners unanimously agreed to award a $ 90,000 contract to Albemarle & Associates for engineering and project design services.
Outer Banks Visitors Bureau executive director Lee Nettles told The Voice the walk has been identified as a top priority for local tourism officials. Construction on the project, he noted, could begin as early as next spring and possibly be completed by summer 2022.
“The [Dare County Tourism] The board was very keen on moving the boardwalk in this process and trying to tackle it from the start, ”Nettles said, adding that with the popular rides in Duck and Hatteras Island, the office has some good examples as points of reference. “I believe – and I think the Tourist Office recognizes this – that this is a real opportunity. And if we do it right, I think it could be a top attraction for the Outer Banks.
After garnering feedback from the public as well as the Dare County Tourism Board, Albemarle & Associates will be tasked with creating concept drawings and plotting exactly where the boardwalk will be built. Nettles noted that part of the planning would be continued support for various uses at the site, including the launch of kitesurfing boards in Roanoke Sound.
As the site is located in an environmentally sensitive area, the engineering company will also obtain the appropriate permits before preparing an application package for potential construction companies. Nettles said tenders for the construction are expected to come out soon after year-end.
Part of the planning will include the development of an existing boardwalk behind the OBX Adventure Park and the former Pamlico Jack restaurant, Nettles said. In the past, Nags Head officials have discussed a city walk along Roanoke Sound and Nettles said the event site walk could potentially connect to a city walk if it comes to fruition. .
“We’re trying to work with the city and if that happens to align with the fact that they want to move forward with it, then that’s great, we would be happy… and we hope to have a walk. longer, ”Nettles said, adding that at the very least, the plans would incorporate the link into neighboring Harvey Sound Access.
The length of the walk has not been determined, but it could include piers and ramifications as well as interpretive stations so visitors can learn more about the wetlands.
Meanwhile, the Dare County Tourism Council Events Site Advisory Group, which first met in December 2019, is tasked with examining development options for what it widely considered. like an underutilized site – with talks including facilities like a hotel and event center.
“I can say we’re looking for a very flexible event center that takes advantage of the event pitch and… at least at this point, doesn’t include a hotel,” Nettles said. He added that such a center would be intended to host sporting events, concerts, banquets as well as meetings. Nettles said such a center would likely be around 35,000 to 40,000 square feet in size and would require approval from the Town of Nags Head.
The promenade, however, is a separate project and is considered a higher priority than the event center, Nettles noted. “We’re going to get there first,” he said. “And on top of that, everything costs money, so we had to have a plan to be able to spread these expenses over years.”