Warm season attracts visitors to Blockade Runner

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH,NC (WWAY) — Hurricane Florence is not stopping this hot spot tourist attraction from opening its doors to visitors.

Terry Allred has been the interior designer at the Blockade Runner Beach resort for the last 12 years. She said the recovery has been a mix of emotions.

“It hurts because this is my pride,” Allred said. “It hurt because it hurt Mary, Bill, Joe and the whole Baggett family. It had to hurt them and they’re my family so that had hurt, but then you get excited cause you get to decorate all over again.”

Hurricane Florence put Allred back into action needing to replace furniture and creating new design solutions.

The resort lost September, October and November business. The resort was able to open 80 rooms on February 15 and 60 additional rooms on March 1.

“On our books, it looked like it was going to be one of the best falls we’d have ever in the history of the hotel,” owner Mary Baggett Martin said.

But she says this family owned business has been in the tourism industry since 1984 and is bound to recover.

“To lose that fall was very difficult, but we are so optimistic for the spring and summer,” Baggett Martin said.

Although 140 rooms are open, crews are still hard at work on “The Balcony.”

“We have 30 more rooms that need to be completed in a building where the roof was torn off and I have 40 40-foot containers of furniture coming,” Allred said.

Baggett Martin says she’s hopeful that part of the property will be complete by April.

After 55 years of helping drive the economic industry of Wrightsville Beach, Baggett Martin adds she’s happy to see the industry grow.

“The market is wide open in our industry for taking people who are basically untrained and giving them skills they can use for the rest of their lives and work in,” Baggett Martin said.

Baggett Martin was recognized by Visit North Carolina for her work as a tourism industry leader. She is named one of the newest member of the Winner’s Circle.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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