Times Are A’Changin’ on the Outer Banks

According to an article in the Coastal Cuisine section of The Coast, restaurants on the Outer Banks, somewhat like the weather, are ever changing here.  Out with the old, (or renovate the old under new management), and in with the new seems to be an Outer Banks motto to live by.  We now have a new Quizno’s Sub Shop in Southern Shores, a Papa John’s Pizza Parlor in Kitty Hawk as well as an Applebee’s in Nags Head.  La Fogata Mexican Restaurant has now moved across the street from the former location, which now houses the Applebee’s restaurant.  A long time favorite hamburger spot, Mulligan’s, has taken the old local of Bad Barracuda’s, which is next to Kitty Hawk Kites and across from Jockey’s Ridge State Park, also in Nags Head.  Bacu Grill, located next to the Outer Banks Hospital, has changed ownership but will keep many entries from the old establishment.  The restaurant has a new European look, replaced the cigar store with a cocktail lounge and offers tapas for lunch and dinner now.  In Colington, the Harbour Grille was taken over by the general manager of Black Pelican and will now offer a low-key atmosphere to enjoy a meal while overlooking the adjoining creek, which explains their new name of Hidden Creek Grill.  We have another alternative for grocery and/or prepared meals delivered to your door offered by Charlene’s on Colington Road.  Eat in or order out, this quaint country store, open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. stocks meats, fish and produce as well.  The town of Kitty Hawk will welcome a new restaurant specializing in quinine from around the world called IanJay Café.   Lastly, as of the time of this reporting, a new authentic Mexican restaurant, Bad Bean Taqueria, will make its debut in Corolla manned by a former chef from the Left Bank of Northern Duck.

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Carolina Designs Realty has a Check In Newspaper

Thanks to the diligent efforts of Monica, Elaine, and many of our staff members, a new guest newspaper has been developed and will be distributed to everyone checking in this rental season.  It has eight full-color information packed pages of topics that will assist the guests from the time they arrive on the Outer Banks to when they leave us to go home.  They will have the answers to all of their typically asked questions, from how to stay safe in our waters to where to eat, shop and play.  They will have at their fingertips listings galore including all Outer Banks beach accesses, lifeguard stations, ferry schedules, church directories, emergency numbers and more.  The newspaper details check in and check out procedures, trash disposal, telephone dialing instructions as well as bonfire, fireworks, and off-road vehicle restrictions.  There is also a beautifully designed, fully detailed area map highlighting some of the Outer Bank’s points of interest.  The newspaper is chalk full of color pictures exemplifying the pure joy of just being at the beach.  The layout is extremely inviting to the eye and each section is wonderfully written.  It is the most comprehensive source of all the information a guest would need to have at hand to fully enjoy their vacation rental home and the resort environment.  In addition, it can inform the consumer on how to go from being a guest to a property owner on the Outer Banks in seven, easy steps!

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Connecting You in Ways That Count!

The communications system in place for our guests to make long distance phone calls from our vacation rental homes, Navis Technologies, also provides a valuable service to our guests and homeowners.  With the help of our very able technical staff to program the property management system, we are able to send messages to mass quantities of residences.  This system was used to inform our guests and homeowners about our status during major hurricanes.  We are able to advise our guests of their check in location and time of arrival.  The program can send a message to notify customers having a remaining outstanding balance to be paid.  We can send a message to each vacation rental home advising when trash pick up day is scheduled.  These are but a few of the reasons why a universal message would be sent to a large number of people.  The system is available for our use via the Internet.  With a simple click of the mouse, a file containing literally hundreds of telephone numbers can be uploaded and the message can be sent in minutes.  For a vacation property management company, this kind of system has proved to be an essential communication tool.  We are pleased to have this system in place and continually find new uses for its service.  Special thanks to our technical staff for their ability to make the most of such a useful program!

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How to be a Customer Service Pro

Members from our reservations and maintenance staff attended a seminar recently that was geared to teach the basic essentials of superior customer service.

The Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce, the Outer Banks Association of Realtors, College of the Albemarle’s Dare Campus and Small Business Center, the Outer Banks Hotel Motel Association, and the Dare County Restaurant Association sponsored the seminar.  The presenter, Carol Hartman, a business consultant, professional business and life coach with 31 years of experience, focused on how to avoid the pitfalls of poor service, being an integral part of a successful service team and how to deal with difficult situations by solving problems while keeping your cool.

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Harris Teeter Comes to The Outer Banks

Soon there will be more choices for grocery shopping on the Outer Banks!  Harris Teeter, an upscale, full service food store with operations in 6 states on the east coast has expanded to the Outer Banks with stores in Corolla and Kill Devil Hills.  The construction will soon be completed for a 48,910 sq. ft. Harris Teeter grocery store as well as an 8,400 sq. ft. building for retail and business offices on an 8.2 acre site located on the north side of the entrance of the Currituck Club. The complex is expected to open in the Spring of 2006, employing 266 associates.

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Tribute To A Great Lady

Mary Griffin Holian O’Neill 

May 25, 1929 to May 8, 2006

As most of you already know, Carolina Designs Realty regrettably announces the passing of Mary Griffin Holian O’Neill on May 8, 2006 due to a massive stroke.  We are all deeply shocked and saddened; it is hard to imagine life without Mary.

Mary was very loved and was an inspiration to us all.  Since the ‘80’s, Mary was instrumental in molding our company into becoming a top competitor in the management of elite vacation rental homes offered on the Outer Banks today.  When Mary started working for the company, the reservations were tracked on cardboard.  Through her dedication and hard work, the company has become what we know it to be today.  Mary loved her job, and would even spend her days off working by making suggestions for improvements to owners.  She had an eye for quality and how to achieve it.

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Carolina Designs Realty is Your Source for Exquisite Vacation Rental Homes

Founded in 1988, Carolina Designs Realty manages the finest available for weekly vacation rental homes from Corolla to Nags Head on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  We have been able to attract these vacation rental properties because of our commitment to extremely high standards of customer service and operational innovation.  We have earned the respect and trust of our owners, guests, suppliers and partner vendors.

Our phone lines have voice mail and we are available at our local or toll-free numbers.  Our office is open 362 days per year, 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

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Outer Banks spotlight published in the Washingtonian May 2006 Issue

Under the title, Find the Perfect Beach House, written by Christine Koubek, you’ll find that the first choice listed for beaches located in the Mid-Atlantic region that are the least crowded and most family oriented is the Outer Banks, North Carolina.  In two separate sections listed consecutively, the writer gives her opinion on what the area is best for, where to rent, activities and dining for the Northern Beaches of the Outer Banks as well as the Middle Beaches and Hatteras.  Words to describe the beaches as a whole on the Outer Banks were:  unspoiled and uncrowded beaches, opulent homes packed with amenities such as home theaters, pool tables, putting greens and swimming pools.  Carolina Designs Realty was mentioned under the title, Best bets for rentals, further stating that our web site was easy to navigate with floor plans and photos for vacation rental homes from Corolla to Nags Head.  Carolina Designs Realty provides linens and a starter supply of necessities for all of our vacation rental homes also.  The writer further explains the flavor offered in each section of the entire Outer Banks, giving the reader an idea of what to expect during their vacation experience.

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First Rate Web Access In Our Vacation Rental Homes on the Outer Banks

A majority of the vacation rental properties that we manage have offered high speed Internet access for some time.  By April 1st, all of our vacation rental properties will provide it.  Having the ability to offer this service is significant.  Internet access is becoming something that many cannot be without, even on vacation.

This service will become a vital part of our company’s ability to communicate.  Carolina Designs Realty is working to provide our maintenance staff and inspectors with a hand held pocket PC.  The inspector or maintenance personnel, upon completing an assignment, can immediately enter all findings regarding our vacation rental home into our information system.

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Destination: Outer Banks Weddings ~ Reservation Policy Changes for 2006

On behalf of Carolina Designs Realty, we congratulate you on your very special plans to wed on the Outer Banks!  We look forward to providing exceptional service to meet all of your needs for this special day. 

Please be aware that wedding rentals require extra maintenance, cleaning and management during the week.  In an attempt to properly maintain the vacation rental property and manage the extra time and attention that guests require, we have developed new policies for weddings for the 2006 season.

Specifically note that Carolina Designs Realty requires a maximum number of 50 guests allowed during the wedding.  There will be an additional event fee incurred by the renter in the amount of $1,500 to have the wedding in the vacation rental home.  The fee will defray the cost involved in the logistics of these events and ensure minimal “wear and tear” on the property.  Wedding events require a double security deposit in the amount of $2,000.  The damage waiver of $50 is not an option for wedding rentals.  Again, we look forward to assisting you with your special plans to wed on the Outer Banks.  Should you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!

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