Things can change a lot in a decade, and as we ring in a new one, I decided to see how the price of enjoying our "local flavor" has changed. In 1999, boarding the Battleship North Carolina cost $6 for adults, and $3 for children. Ten years later, those prices have doubled. Prices have gone up to ride the Henrietta down the Cape Fear River. "We were ten dollars in 1999, and we're fifteen dollars now for an adult ticket. But we were five dollars in 1999 for children, and we're still five dollars for children,” said Carl Marshburn of Cape Fear Riverboats. A donut at Britt's in Carolina Beach cost 50 cents in '99. Now, the sticky sweetness will cost you a whole 75 cents, but the famous taste, hasn't changed. Ticket prices for the Southport-Fort Fisher ferry haven't changed in ten years, but a round trip pass to Bald Head Island will cost you a dollar more today. Harrell's Department store in Burgaw has been around for more than a century. It's carried the same pair of men's dress shoes since the 20's. From 1999 to 2009, the price of those shoes went up $15. Paul's Place Hotdogs has been a staple of the Rocky Point community since 1928. The price of those famous dogs, made all the way with mustard, relish, and onions, has gone up 40 cents in the past 10 years. As long as we're talking about local food, we gotta figure in oysters. Atlantic Seafood in Hampstead charges $5 more per bushel, than in 1999. A daily fix of Port City Java costs about a dollar more than it did 10 years ago. In 1999, a horse-drawn carriage ride through historic downtown Wilmington cost $9 for adults, now it is $12. 2009 saw some pain at the pump. The average price for a gallon of regular jumped to $2.57 in our region; compare that to $1.23 ten years ago. Home buyers in Wilmington paid an average of $170,000 in September of ’99; that average rose by $100,000 this year. As expected, most prices have gone up in the last ten years, leading us to wonder what's in store. Thanks to inflation, it takes about a $1.30 to buy what a dollar bought in 1999.
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