The notion of a sleepy summer season was a foreign concept on the North Fork this year, with droves of tourists visiting Southold Town to enjoy the region’s many charms.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s devastating impact on popular summer spots like Fire Island and parts of the Jersey Shore, officials in the North Fork’s local tourism and hospitality industries reported one of the most successful summer seasons on record.
“We have been seeing a lot of new visitors all across the North Fork,” said Steve Bate, executive director of the Long Island Wine Council and a board member of the East End Tourism Alliance.
More visitors meant more business for local shops, particularly in Greenport.
“It was the best summer we’ve had,” said Shelley Scoggin, owner of The Market, which opened in Greenport Village in 1987. “We were really, really busy and Greenport was busier than ever.”
Even before the 2013 season began, Greenport Village Business Improvement District director Peter Clarke predicted a tourism surge in the waterfront village.
In preparation, the BID developed new maps and signage to outline the business district for visitors and sponsored a number of events to attract tourists.
“People have fallen in love with the assets of our area,” Mr. Clarke said in September. “I know we’ve had more traffic for sure. The marina has been full and mega yachts have been docking. People are interested in coming to Greenport. It’s excellent.”
Editor’s note: We’re counting down the top 10 news stories of 2013. Check back every day until Jan. 1 to follow along.