By Quentin Fottrell
Updated, Sept. 20, 6.00pm: This post has been updated to reflect changing travel offers.
Now that Irene is long gone, the power’s back on and the water is safe to drink, hotels and vacation rentals along the East Coast are offering some tempting deals to woo back travelers scared by headlines like “Hotel Guests Flee North Carolina Coast.” “The damage was really very isolated,” says Margo Metzger, spokeswoman for the North Carolina Division of Tourism, a state where tourism accounts for nearly 5% of the economy. “Around 270 miles out of 320 miles of coast are open for business.” She says rates are starting to come down dramatically in September.
Deals are coming in thick and fast. Along the 100-mile coast of the Outer Banks, N.C, Village Realty currently offers a selection of vacation properties at a 10% discount. Atlantic Realty is offering a 15% discount on full week rental properties on the North Carolina coast or offering four nights with a fifth night free; you can also get over 20% off on a five-bedroom house on the ocean. It has fall specials between September 7 and October 1 for only $550 per week for a three-bedroom condo with ocean views. Beach Realty & Construction have a selection of offers on coastal vacation homes along the Outer Banks with some at nearly half-price: one two-bedroom rental beside the ocean are $495, about half the usual rate.
There are offers farther up the East Coast as the summer crowds disappear. The Black Point Inn in Scarborough, Maine, has special deals next week starting at $175 per person per night for rooms with double occupancy with breakfast and dinner each night, down 50% on prices earlier this month. The Brass Lantern Inn in Stowe, VT, offers 12% off if you message them on Facebook with a story about Irene, and has 15% off four-person golfing packages. Bentleys restaurant in Woodstock, VT has a “Goodnight & Goodbye Irene” special of 15% off all food throughout September. Genevieve Shaw Brown, editorial director at Travelocity, says “perception problems” will likely lead more Vermont hoteliers to lower prices ahead of foliage season in September.
Pay Dirt readers, are you tempted to take a Fall vacation to regions visited by Irene?