By GEORGE SOUTHERN
Cape Charles Wave
October 8, 2012
September 21 saw the official end of summer, but the “season” actually ended only yesterday — appropriately with a cold rain.
And this last week presented a spectacular finale to what might be Cape Charles’ most upbeat summer since the last ferry boat steamed away in 1949.
The season unofficially began with the June 8-12 Tall Ships at Cape Charles festival, drawing 7,000 visitors (and 43 vendors). The first-time event is now planned to repeat annually.
Nearly concurrent with the Tall Ships spectacular was the opening of three new businesses and one new building — all having a big impact on the Town.
The new building is the Cape Charles Harbor Bath House — a quarter-million dollar better mousetrap designed to attract high-roller yachts to the Harbor’s newly expanded floating docks. And it’s working — at the height of the season, more boats called at the harbor in a month than previously visited in a year.
Dockside is another new building — the Shanty — the restaurant/bar that quickly became the watering hole for the “in crowd” — especially after the owners gave in and installed air conditioning in place of the original open-air design.
Across the railroad tracks in Town, two other businesses opened. First came the tony boutique Hotel Cape Charles, where owner David Gammino has bet $2 million that upscale tourists will increasingly make Cape Charles their destination.
The other new business was Brown Dog Ice Cream, where owner Miriam Elton quickly discovered the crowds could eat ice cream faster than she could make it by hand. [Read more…]