Open Letter to Hyde County Commissioners

Re: increase in Ocracoke occupancy tax/tourist development authority

Dear Commissioners Pugh, Tunnell, Fletcher, Simmons and Swindell:

My name is Susan Dayton and I am a full-time resident of Ocracoke, NC. My partner, David Mickey, and I moved to Ocracoke last August. We both have been coming to the island since the early 1970s and we finally made the move! We love Ocracoke and have opened a small business on the island called, “Roxy’s Antiques On Ocracoke.”

I would like to register my opinion that I am opposed to an increase in occupancy tax on Ocracoke in order to create a Hyde County “tourism development authority.” Any such increase in taxes could result in hurting Ocracoke’s economy rather than helping it. I am also opposed to spending $100,000 or any other amount at this time specifically for the creation of a county tourism development authority.

As you know, Ocracoke is in a unique location that will require careful planning to increase the number of visitors to the island. How visitors will get to the island in addition to the continued reliability of our ferries is a major concern for all of us. However, before any money is allocated to a creating a new department of tourism with a full time staff member, a thorough review and assessment of all marketing/advertising activities to date should be instigated with the results of such activities analyzed for their effectiveness. This assessment should be performed by an independent third party consulting firm with strong experience in the tourism industry.

An independent consulting firm could review and assess: 1. Strengths and weaknesses in advertising and marketing efforts to date including new web-based marketing venues being launched by private entrepreneurs; 2. Identify additional potential advertising and marketing possibilities; and 3. Additional untapped marketing venues; for example, the development of a strategic marketing plan in specifically targeted states to increase Ocracoke’s visibility as a unique vacation destination.  

What is needed is a thorough review and assessment of all marketing efforts to date coupled with the development of a focused marketing plan that includes a well-thought-out vision for Ocracoke. This initial step will cost less money ($100,000) and will be money well spent. I hope that you will consider this strategy as a first step in creating a win-win situation for us all.  Thank you again for your kind and thoughtful consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Sue Dayton, Owner/Proprietor

Roxy’s Antiques On Ocracoke


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