Blockade Runner rebounds from Hurricane Florence, to reopen next month

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Blockade Runner Beach Resort (Photo: Aerial Optics)

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Blockade Runner Beach Resort, a historic landmark and oceanfront icon of North Carolina for 55 years, announced it will reopen in time for Valentine’s Day weekend.

Blockade Runner closed in September to repair substantial damages sustained from Hurricane Florence.

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According to the general manager, the hotel will be reopening in two stages. February 15 we will reopen the tower building containing the largest block of rooms at the resort. This will be followed by the reopening of the balcony building in March-April.

“Aside from Hurricane Hazel in 1954, Hurricane Florence is the largest storm Wrightsville Beach has had as far as property destruction is concerned,” said Bill Baggett of the Baggett family, owners of Blockade Runner.

Baggett says the hurricane losses at Blockade Runner are in three categories: the damage to our buildings and property, estimated to be $5 million; content loss, approximately $2 million; and loss of business during repairs, approximately $2 million. The total loss will be close to $10 million.

“The exterior and subflooring of Blockade Runner are concrete and steel,” noted Mary Baggett. “However, many interior walls were plaster and sheetrock. Seventy-five percent of these walls were replaced in the tower building, and all of these walls will be replaced in the balcony building. We lost the entire roof in the balcony building.”

“Many repairs will be unnoticeable to our guests. The majority of damages were related to roofing, walls, utilities inside the walls, and insulation. Elevators will be the last to be refurbished, but everything will come together better than ever as spring progresses,” added Ms. Baggett.