My things have changed at the beach. In the late sixties and early seventies, I spent a lot of time on Ocracoke Island. Mostly I camped at the National Park, but I can still remembering checking into the only motel on Ocracoke to have a television so I could watch Neil Armstrong step on the moon.
In the nineties we used to frequent Buxton down on Hatteras Island. The place we stayed did not even have phones in the rooms. Of course cell phone service was almost non-existent. The idea of Internet service in your hotel on the Outer Banks was only a gleam in someone's eye.
Fast forward to today. Many beach homes here on the Crystal Coast come with computers, and if not, wireless computing is available to those who do not carry iPhones or Blackberries.
The one thing that has not changed besides the beautiful waters is that most area businesses are not on the Internet. Even if they are there, they mostly have a static presence. Some are trying to supplement their static website with a Facebook presence.
Unfortunately most people do not look at Facebook when they want to find out something about an area. People typically Google for information.
Yesterday, I spent much of the day handing out fliers at the Bluewater Rentals Check-in. My goal was not to sell any real estate but to build awareness for CrystalCoastNorthCarolina.us as a source of local information.
We have many people who want to know about our area, and it helps to have a central place to point them for information especially for events and business information.
I suspect that there will always be a place at the beach for strategically place hand lettered sheets advertising events, but I hope that we can get more businesses interested in the Internet. It is a powerful tool.
One thing that has already changed for the better is the rental check-in process. Even some of the visitors commented about how well it worked to have two drive through lanes to pick up keys. The girls handing out keys also had a wirelessly networked laptop that let them check to see if the cleaning crew had finished or if repairs were still ongoing.
Over three hundred people were scheduled to check in yesterday at our location. It ended up being a very smooth process with minimal waiting.
The minimal waiting was a good thing since people were spending a lot of time on the bridge getting to Emerald Isle. On the grand scale of things fifteen minutes to get through town is not much, but after a long ride of up to ten or twelve hours, any delay is tough to take.
I hope that the weather hold this week. The last two weeks have been nearly perfect beach weather. It is always helps when creating great memories to have great weather.
While we might have Internet in the houses and beautiful waters, we still have not figured out how to manage the weather.