To catch up on Ocracoke news and much more, click here
By Peter Vankevich
The Ocracoke Station & Beachcomber campground is under new ownership and plans are underway to reopen in early 2020.
Business partners Clayton Jernigan and Drew Batts of Stantonsburg, Wilson County, in July purchased the two and a half-acre property and building and have renamed it “Jerniman’s.”
It already has a website and is taking reservations for the campsite starting in February and even has a schedule of events for the year.
The island was abuzz in July when the pair signed the contract and installed a sign with the new name and contact information.
Jernigan said in an interview at the site that the pair has a two-year plan that will include extensive renovation of both the inside and outside of the building but getting the campground back open is the first on their agenda.
Campsite reservations will start online on Sept. 1 for the 2020 season that will open Feb. 1.
The site accommodates 30 RVs and has five sites for tent campers to which they hope to add four more tent sites.
In the meantime, the pair said the gas pumps will remain open 24/7 for credit card purchases only under the current contract with Beasley Enterprises, Windsor, for the next two years.
So how is it that a pair of businessmen whose enterprise, AutoRazzi, that photographs vehicle inventories for dealerships for their websites are purchasing the only gas station on Ocracoke?
Batt’s wife, Samara, wanted to see all the lighthouses in North Carolina.
So, they started up in Currituck and worked their way southward.
Missing the Cedar Island ferry, on their way back to the Hatteras ferry, Drew noticed the for-sale sign at the gas station. They were already thinking of adding a new venture and after much research, they now have an interest on Ocracoke.
The station closed in May 2018 after financial difficulties ensued for the operators, Sean and Laurie Death, following damage from Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.