Rodanthe, N.C. (WTKR) - A new study shows just how big of an impact Hatteras Island has on the economy of the Outer Banks and North Carolina.
The assessment was performed between January and May of 2013.
It was sponsored by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau and prepared by Brent Lane, an economic researcher at the University of North Carolina.
You can read the complete economic impact report here.
Among the highlights of the assessment: tourists spent $204 million on Hatteras Island in 2011, tourism accounted for 2,618 jobs with a payroll of $41 million and tourism contributed $10.3 million in state taxes and $9.4 million in local taxes.
Business owners, like Jason Heilig of Rodanthe Surf Shop, hope the report bolsters efforts to repair or replace Route 12.
Route 12 is the main access to Hatteras Island, but it is continually damaged by hurricanes and nor'easters, crippling access and hurting business.
"Last year Hurricane Sandy hit October 27th and just put the brakes on for us. I was hoping to have a good holiday season and it was a real struggle," Heilig explained.
The Hatteras Island Economic Impact Assessment also found that the "iconinc imagery and experiences" of Hatteras Island contributed significantly to the brand of the Outer Banks and helped attract first-time visitors to the area.