Hurricane damage closes Blockade Runner for now

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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — A long time staple in the area has to close its doors, but managers of the Blockade Runner hope to bounce back soon.

General Manager Nicolas Montoya said almost every room in the Blockade Runner suffered some type of damage from Hurricane Florence and says this is the fastest way they could fix the place up.

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“It’s been quite a three week journey,” Montoya said.

After more than 50 years of serving guests, the Blockade Runner in Wrightsville Beach must close it’s doors, at least for now.

“We accommodate, we host, we service, and not being able to do that for a couple of months is unusual and unnatural,” Montoya said. “Our mantra is to just go back to work, open up and be ready for business. But the reality has turned out to be quite different.”

The managers came to the decision to close their doors another four months. That means no weddings or events such as Flotilla, Hope from Helen or Art and the Bloom.

“Having to have those conversations and not being able to host is truly not in our nature. We kind of feel out of place a little bit but it’s a reality,” Montoya said.

Montoya says they’re doing everything they can to keep their staff on board for as long as possible.

“Hopefully transferring some staff, if willing and able to do some of the disaster relief work within our own walls for companies that would be helping us on the renovation,” Montoya said.

Montoya also says they will be working to still have a core groups of employees they keep during the winter. He is remaining hopeful that by spring, they will be in full bloom and able to open their doors once again.