Friday, June 18, 2004

Quick Facts about Bald Head Island, North Carolina

-Located two nautical miles off the coast of southeastern North Carolina, Bald Head Island is a resort and residential community accessible only by private boat or ferry. Transportation on the island is limited to golf carts, bicycles and pedestrian traffic.
The entire island complex (historically referred to as Smith Island) consists of 12,000 acres, featuring 14 miles of pristine beaches and six distinct environments – West Beach, South Beach, East Beach, Marsh and Creek, Maritime Forest, Harbour Village and Golf Course.
-Bald Head Island is the southernmost barrier island in N.C., where the mouth of the Cape Fear River meets the Atlantic Ocean.
Bald Head Island features approximately 800 private residences (including condominiums) and nearly 200 year-round residents.
-The island is open to the public and accessible only by boat. Bald Head Island operates daily ferries to the island, which run hourly from 8:00 a.m. Return evening hours vary by day and season.
-The ten-acre Bald Head Island Marina is home to both the Passenger Ferry Terminal and the Bald Head Island Yacht Club.
-Bald Head Island is the northernmost semitropical environment on the East Coast and the last point at which sabal palms grow naturally. Moderated by the warm waters of the nearby Gulf Stream, the weather on Bald Head Island is generally mild year-round.
With beaches along its eastern, southern and western shores, Bald Head Island allows you to witness the sun both rising and setting over the Atlantic Ocean each day.
Bald Head Island got its name from early river pilots’ reference to its “bald” headland that is devoid of vegetation. Pilots would look for this high dune headland on the island’s southwest point as a landmark leading to the mouth of the Cape Fear River.
The most visible landmark on the island is Old Baldy, a lighthouse commissioned by Thomas Jefferson and completed in 1817. Old Baldy is North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse and is open daily from dawn to dusk. Visitors are welcome to traverse the 108 steps to reach Old Baldy’s pinnacle, which provides visitors panoramic, 360-degree views of the entire island.
-The Village Chapel is a beautifully designed house of worship that offers picturesque views of the marsh and creek. Visiting ministers hold non-denominational services each Sunday at 8:30 a.m. With seating for approximately 113, the Chapel has been the site for hundreds of memorable weddings.


-Bald Head Island was purchased in 1983 by Bald Head Island Limited, a company owned by the George P. Mitchell family. Bald Head Island Limited manages real estate development and sales, as well as resort and island operations.
The Mitchell Family is also known for developing The Woodlands, near Houston, Texas. The Woodlands was named as one of the world’s finest master-planned communities by the Urban Land Institute.
-The developers’ philosophy of sensitive land planning ensures that all new development respects the natural surroundings. Neighborhoods are designed to accommodate homes, people and nature, not parking lots and cars.
The Mitchell family also owns Indigo Plantation and Marina in Southport. The marina is the site for Bald Head’s mainland ferry depot.
-The Village of Bald Head Island is a chartered municipality governed by an elected Village council and mayor. A Village Manager and support staff work out of the Village Hall located across from Old Baldy Lighthouse.


-Of Bald Head Island’s 12,000 acres, 10,000 acres are protected and will remain undeveloped — 2,000 acres are set aside for development.
Bordering the island to the north, protected salt marsh and tidal creeks are ideal for fishing, canoeing and kayaking.
-Bald Head Island boasts a large maritime forest that is among the largest and most prized examples of its kind on the East Coast. Here, the island is dense with live oaks, dogwoods, sabal palms, cedars, yaupons, wax myrtles and junipers.
Bald Head Island is one of the East Coast’s most important nesting grounds for loggerhead turtles. The Bald Head Island Conservancy is a nonprofit group that monitors loggerhead nesting on the island and works to protect this endangered species.
-The Cape Fear Light, a second lighthouse for Bald Head Island completed in 1903, was torn down in 1958. The lighthouse foundation remains and is a popular tourist destination.
-In close proximity to the Cape Fear Light foundation is Captain Charlies’ Station, three homes originally constructed in 1903 to house the Cape Fear Lighthouse keepers and their families. The three homes have been carefully restored and are now available as rental cottages.
-Several infamous pirates, such as Stede Bonnet and Edward Teach (commonly known as Blackbeard) used Bald Head Island as a hideout and combat base in the 1700's.


-Bald Head Island Limited owns and operates two real estate companies: Bald Head Island Limited Real Estate Sales and The Island Agency – the oldest, largest and most successful real estate listing and selling agencies representing homes and homesites on Bald Head Island and its mainland sister community, Indigo Plantation and Marina in Southport.
-Buyers at Bald Head Island come from more than 45 states.
For property owners who wish to build on Bald Head, house plans must be designed by an approved architect and approved by an architectural review committee. Landscaping must also conform to environmentally sensitive guidelines.
-Bald Head Island Limited topped $115 million in real estate sales contracts in 2003, a nearly 100% increase from 2002 (please see separate press release).
Island wide, the average price of new and resale homes has increased over the past three years from $562,634 to $691,270.
-Homes and homesites in Cape Fear Station –- a 300-acre traditional neighborhood development on the island’s easternmost tip –– currently account for 80 percent of new product sales.
-Surrounded by nature preserves, Cape Fear Station will feature more than 350 homes framed by tree-lined streets, boardwalks and winding footpaths.
-The layout of the community follows many traditional neighborhood development principles, including the use of a Common, a large, park-like space located in the center of the community. The Common serves as a picturesque setting for picnics, games and open-air concerts.
-Homesites in Cape Fear Station range from the $180,000 to $2.5 million.
Harbour Village is the neighborhood surrounding the Bald Head Island Marina and features numerous homesites within easy reach of such amenities as boat slips, restaurants and the passenger ferry depot.
-Additional communities on Bald Head Island include The Peninsula at Harbour Village and The Hammocks.
The Penisula offers 18 homesites in Harbour Village framed by the Bald Head Island Marina, the marina entrance channel and the Cape Fear River.
-The Hammocks is a co-ownership community in the maritime forest overlooking the golf course and just a few minutes from the beach that offers homeowners a week-long vacation in four seasons throughout the year. Two- and three-bedroom furnished units are available.
-A convenient resource for custom home design and construction, The Island Home Center is a central office for a carefully chosen group of independent builders. Each contractor selected as a Featured Builder has a proven history of building quality homes on the island, as well as a valuable familiarity with the architectural review process and a demonstrated understanding of the building requirements, both aesthetic and structural, unique to Bald Head Island.
-BHI Construction Company is the building company affiliated with Bald Head Island Limited that specializes in the construction of single-family, built-for-sale homes on the island, as well as multi-family neighborhood development. BHI Construction is also one of the Featured Builders of the Island Home Center.


-Bald Head Island offers tourists a wide variety of accommodations, including private home rentals, a bed & breakfast and inn.
Bald Head Island Limited’s rental program features more than 100 homes, cottages and condominiums, available in all island environments.
-Common amenities for rental homes include one or more electric carts, fully-equipped kitchens, washer/dryer, VCR, steam iron, vacuum, cable TV, linens, etc.
Vacationers of Bald Head Island Limited enjoy temporary membership in the Bald Head Island Club, which allows access to a celebrated golf course, croquet greenswards, tennis courts, fitness rooms, pools, dining room and lounge. In addition, vacationers may have access to the Shoals Club, an impressive oceanfront pavilion offering a casual restaurant and bar, shower and locker facilities, a fitness room, two swimming pools surrounded by decks, outdoor Tiki Bar and direct beach access.
-Bald Head Island Limited offers a variety of vacation packages and seasonal specials, such as golf packages, holiday packages, couple’s retreat and weekday specials.
-Bald Head Island Limited’s Property Management Program is managed by Sentry Hospitality, one of the leading hospitality management companies in the industry.


-Transportation on Bald Head Island is limited to electric carts, bicycles and foot traffic. No cars are permitted other than a limited number of service and emergency vehicles.
-Bald Head Island is accessible only by ferry or private boat. The Island operates four passenger ferries: the Revenge, the Adventure, the Sans Souci and the Patriot.
Passengers embark on the 20-minute ferry ride to Bald Head at Indigo Plantation and Marina in Southport. Parking is available at the marina.
-In 2003, the ferries brought a total of 302,781 passengers to the island, involving a total of 8,188 round trips to and from the island.
-The ferry leaves for Bald Head every hour on the hour and departs for the return trip every hour on the half hour. The ferry operates daily from 8:00 a.m. Return trips run from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., depending on the day and season.
Electric carts, bikes, kayaks and canoes, are available for rental in Harbour Village.
-The maximum speed limit for electric carts is 18 mph.
BellSouth recently ran a DSL line under the Cape Fear River to Bald Head Island, providing cable and high-speed internet access to all homeowners and visitors.


-Bald Head Island has a full-time Shoals Club recreation department that coordinates organized activities for children, teenagers and the entire family. Programs include concerts, alligator walk, bird-watching, day camp, cooking classes, road races, holiday activities, Game Nights, Kid’s Night Out and Teen Beach Parties.
-The most desirable amenity within Cape Fear Station is the Shoals Club, which is located near Cape Fear Point at the southeast corner of the Island. The Shoals Club, scheduled to open in 2004, features a 20,000 square foot cedar-sided clubhouse, expansive decks, pools, fitness room, private parking and umbrella, chair and towel-service for adjacent beaches.
-Additional outdoors activities of interest on Bald Head include crabbing, clamming, surfing, tennis, running, cycling, nature walks and historic tours.
-The waters surrounding Bald Head Island offer a variety of options for anglers. Offshore, visitors can fish for tuna, wahoo, billfish and king mackerel, while inshore fishermen may hook red drum, pompano, bluefish, flounder and speckled trout.
Resort guests may enjoy full access to the golf course and other amenities through temporary Bald Head Island Club membership.
-Bald Head Island Club’s 18-hole, 6,855 yard championship golf course traverses freshwater lagoons, a maritime forest and dunes overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Considered to be one of the finest in the Carolinas, the Bald Head Island Club course received a coveted 4.5-star rating from Golf Digest, putting it in the top 20 percent in difficulty.
-The Bald Head Island Club also offers a Pro Shop, driving range, fitness room, swimming pool, four hard-surface tennis courts, croquet greensward and a variety of dining options.


-There are three restaurants on the Island; Eb & Flo’s Steambar, a casual, open-air pavilion overlooking the marina that specializes in steamed and fried seafood, burgers and sandwiches; River Pilot Cafe, a more elegant, indoor dining experience just steps from the Ferry landing; and the Club Dining Room, fine dining for members and guests at the Bald Head Island Club.
-Island shops include Island Passage, a retail clothier, gift shop and cart rental facility; The Lightkeeper Gift Shop, a coffee shop, bakery and gift shop offering a wide variety of gifts and keepsakes; the Club Pro Shop, offering a wide variety of golf, tennis and resort wear; and the Conservancy Gift Shop on the eastern end of the Island.
Centrally located in the Maritime Forest, The Maritime Market is a full-service grocery store offering a large selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood, as well as beer, a large selection of fine wine, freshly baked breads, canned goods and select gourmet items. The 14,000 square foot market also offers on-site winetastings and includes a deli, butcher shop, sandwich counter and freshly baked pizza.


-The 10-acre harbour of Bald Head Island Marina is home-port to the Bald Head Island Yacht Club, which offers members a full complement of boating amenities.
Bald Head Island Club Yacht Club members enjoy access to a bathhouse with restrooms, showers and laundry, and exclusive use of a boat slip, a privilege that can be passed down to future generations.
-Bald Head Island Club Yacht Club members may also purchase memberships in the Bald Had Island Club and oceanfront Shoals Club.
Membership dues cover the cost of water, electricity and pump-out facilities, as well as reserves for dock replacement and dredging.


-The Marina’s dockmaster and staff can assist visitors with small boat and fishing equipment rentals, fishing charters and canoe or kayak excursions
Boat slips range from 30 to 60 feet with transient dockage for yachts to 115’ on T-heads.
-The Marina offers easy access to the Intracoastal Waterway and ocean access via a deep-water shipping channel with federally maintained navigational aids.
The prime fishing grounds of Frying Pan Shoals are 25 miles offshore and the Gulf Stream is within 50 miles.
-The Marina features a lighted entrance channel, 30 and 50 amp electric hookups and gas and diesel fuel via high-flow pumps.
Boat slips are also available at Indigo Plantation Marina, which provides a two-acre, well-protected, ice-free basin.
Some boat slips are available with cable TV access.
Slips are available to rent.


-Three airports service the Southport, NC area. Wilmington International Airport is a 45-minute drive north; Myrtle Beach Jetport is 60 miles south. Both service major carriers. Brunswick County Airport is five miles from Southport and services small private planes with a 4,000-foot hard surface landing field.
-Via Highway 17, Southport is 30 miles south of Wilmington, N.C. and 60 miles north of Myrtle Beach, S.C. From points west, Interstate 40 and Highway 74/76 link the region directly with I-95. Entering Southport on Route 211 (Howe Street), turn right onto West 9th Street and continue to the ferry landing.

To learn more about Bald Head Island, visit the comprehensive Web site