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

Soundside event site at Nags Head

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 by local tourism officials. Construction on the project, he noted, could start as early as next spring and possibly be completed by summer 2022.

“The [Dare County Tourism] The board was convinced to move the boardwalk into this process and try to tackle it from the start, ”Nettles said, adding that with the popular boardwalks in Duck and Hatteras Island, the office has beautiful examples as reference points. “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 an iconic 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 mapping exactly where the boardwalk will be built. Nettles noted that part of the planning would be continued support for a variety of uses at the site, including the launch of kiteboards in Roanoke Strait.

Since the site is in an environmentally sensitive area, the engineering company will also obtain the appropriate permits before putting together 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 hooking up to an existing boardwalk behind the OBX Adventure Park and the old Pamlico Jack’s restaurant, Nettles said. In the past, Nags Head officials have discussed a city walk along the Roanoke Strait and Nettles said the event site walk could potentially connect to a city walk if it falls into place. materializes.

“We’re trying to work with the city and if it happens that they align with the fact that they want to move forward then that’s great, we would be happy to do that… and hopefully, to have a longer walk, ”Nettles said, adding that at the very least, the plans would incorporate hooking up to the nearby Harvey Sound access.

The length of the promenade has not been determined, but it could include piers and ramifications as well as interpretive stations so that visitors can learn more about the wetlands.

Meanwhile, the Dare County Tourism Council’s Event Venues Advisory Group, which first met in December 2019, is tasked with examining development options for what it is considering. largely as an underutilized site – with discussions 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 events 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 so that we could sort of spread that out over years.”

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