Tourism

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Welcome Center at Your Service in Surf City

The Surf City Welcome Center has been home to the Town's tourism office since mid-2008 and continues to greet visitors to the commercial center of Topsail Island.

Located at 102 North Shore Drive, near the Roland Ave. beach access, just a few hundred yards north of the Surf City Pier, the Center had its grand opening Sept. 26th, 2008.  Since the opening through 2012, Welcome Center staff has hosted over 31,000 visitors who have traveled to town from all 50 states and over 40 countries, on every continent except Antarctica.

Attending the grand opening were some 80 guests, including local and state elected and appointed officials.  Included was the then state tourism director Lynn Minges.

In her remarks, Minges said, “Tourism brings millions of dollars that are pumped back into state and local communities, and also brings in millions of dollars in state and local tax revenues annually. These kinds of funds are what make places like the Welcome Center a necessity for Surf City.”

The facility houses a full-time visitor center in the southern portion of the building, which was an add-on to an original structure, constructed shortly after World War II.  The main portion of the building, The Surfside Center, is offered for lease to both visitors and islanders as a gathering space for meetings, reunions, weddings, private parties, bridal and baby showers, birthdays and anniversaries, off-site retreats for business and virtually any social or business function imaginable.

Approximately 1,800 square feet of space is available, as is a prep kitchen, a 650 square foot outdoor deck, and parking for approximately 35 automobiles. The room also features a number of audio-visual aids, to help complement the setting. In its first four years of operation, the town has been pleased to host over 500 public and private functions.

Outdoor areas adjacent to the building have recently been landscaped, in order to complement improvements to the building itself. In 2011, the Town added a crossover to the beach for the sole use of those renting the facility.  Both the building and the adjacent beach are accessible to the handicapped. The room accommodates 110 guests seated at tables, and 265 guests seated classroom or auditorium style.

In addition to providing hard copy travel literature, the tourism office has created a strong presence in social media, noting that in four short years its Facebook page has generated some 13,000 followers. Recently, town staff has developed additional social media as well.

The town invites Surf City business license holders to share their literature for distribution through the Visitor Information Center.  For further information, simply call (910) 328-2716, or email tourism@visitsurfcitync.com.