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Polynesian Show at Holden Beach

Polynesian Show at Holden Beach

This island is a great place to meet all of kinds of different people from different ages, backgrounds, history and culture. About 2 weeks ago ago we had a Polynesian Show under the bridge on the gazebo. The name of the group is called “Ohana”….meaning “family” in Hawaiian. The family was Maila (the mother) on uke and drums, Bruce (the father) on uke and drums, hula dancer Emma (a daughter), another hula dancer named Dore (a daughter), a third hula dancer named Ainslee (a friend), Jarrard (a cousin on Drums), and a friend named Arnold on guitar, and another friend on Guitar. Even the children of two of the dancers were involved in the show!

The show was part of the Holden Beach Merchant’s Association free Concerts on the Coast that occurs every Sunday night during the summer months. The show lasted about an hour and 40 minutes with a whole lotta shakin’ hips, singing and just having a good time. The turnout for the show was really good, but it began raining during part of the show and we lost some spectators. Most of the people hung around long enough to see the entire show. The group performed songs and dances from Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand, Tahiti and other places. Most of this family had been performing professional shows for years until several of them moved out to live in the Holden Beach area. This show was special treat for sure. For more info on how to book the family for a show in our area (wedding party, retirement party etc.) please contact me at Shane@atTheBeachNC.com and I can get you in touch with the family. To see more photos of the show Click on this link/

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Holden Beach on the Local TV News….

The local TV station out of Wilmington, NC called WWAY TV3, who travels around our part of the state during the summer months doing a series called “Cape Fear Pride”. It does a story on a town or island about once a week. This past week, we here at Holden Beach was chosen for this wonderful recognition. As most of you know, Holden Beach is known mostly for what we DON’T have. We do not have neon lights, high rise hotels, or any buidings over 35ft in height. The locals and town pride themselves as being known as “The Family Beach” due to our family atmosphere. Holden Beach has come a long way since it first got it’s name. The island use to be nothing but farm land basically for my great great grandparents. There was a small “creek” or very small river that ran just behind the island. The Intracoastal Waterway is man made and was built in the very early 1930’s. Before it was built, our family raised cows and goats and were allowed to roam the eastern part of the island. Then a few homes were built and sold. Holden Beach officially became a town on Feb. 14, 1969. Today Holden Beach is the permanent home to about 900 residents.

As for the story that was done by the local TV station, you can see the video here. At the 1 min. 16 second mark, you can get a quick glimpse of me talking with my father Alan Holden in the kitchen of our real estate office Alan Holden Vacations and RE/MAX at the Beach. The photos that were used in the story are from the book called “Holden Beach History”, which was written by my grandfather John F. Holden. You can buy this book and others from our office. Just give us a call at 800-720-2200 and tell us which one you want and we will be happy to mail it to you. You can see other books we have on this page.

If you are looking for more stories on the development of Holden Beach, be sure to read his second book called “The Beginning and Development of Holden Beach” that is on the same page as the other books. To get a sneak peak of what is inside please read this quick story…

I thought the news story was great and reflected our family values here on the island. For all of you who have visited here before, you do not need a news story to tell how great the island is…….you already know!

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Blah…. Blah…. Blog!

I am just going to hop right into it today. Summer is coming on strong! I can see people out mowing their yards and trimming the bushes. People are swimming in the warm ocean in regular bathing suits (no wet suits anymore!) The reservations are picking up slowly but surely, and soon the weekly mayhem will begin. This past week was a good warm up to the full rush.

I hope the gas prices decide to go on vacation too. They are working way to hard and have a lot of over time. Maybe the “gas fairies” need a 3 YEAR vacation….since they are way ahead of schedule. The cheapest gas within 10 miles of here is right around $3.77 a gallon for regular 87 octane gas. Did you know, back in 1999 gas was only $0.89 a gallon here at Holden Beach? Talk about a pain in the wallet! I just find it ironic, that the cost of fuel keeps going up, and up and up. Then we see on the Nightly News that oil companies are profiting BILLIONS a year. I am not the smartest fellow at math I must admit, but I do know it does not add up.

On to more positive things……in order to help you find a few deals, we have been keeping our “Special’s” page updated on our site. Some of our homeowner’s have decided to try to help their fellow renters out. Several are offering money off to help pay for gas. Stroll on over to that part of our site, and give them a look. Please keep in mind that rental prices are set back in August or September of the year before.

Come on down to the beach to help relax and shake off those winter blues. The water temps are in the mid-70’s and the air temps are averaging in the mid-80’s and sunny. You can also keep and eye on the waves and surf report with our beach webcam. We look forward to seeing you!

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New Website Features

I know….I know. I have been really slack lately about updating this blog. It is honestly hard to find the time to do it at work. I have been thinking about some of the changes we have been making to our vacation rental site this year.

Let me first begin by saying that we have added a new webcam to our office that overlooks the wonderful and beautiful Atlantic Ocean. We have had tremendous success and such a positive response, that it has been one of the biggest highlights of our site. Our camera is run by EarthCam.com which is pretty much the largest webcam site in the world. You can see pretty much any large city you want….and that includes the huge town of Holden Beach, NC. So if you have time, stroll on over to Earthcam.com and take a look at some really cool places.

Some of the other changes we have made in the past year or so has been the addition of a bed linen program that is offered to about 75% or more of our rental homes. The first summer we tried to make it work was in 2007 and was extremely poplular. Now more and more homeowner’s have signed onto the program for 2008. We hope to keep increasing the numbers of these properties that offer bed linens to make your rental properties more comfortable and enjoyable.

Another great feature that homeowner’s have jumped on, is the offering of High-Speed internet. Due to the changing of times, more and more people are working while on vacation. This is also making certain homes more poplular for rentals. So if you need to check back in at home or at work, you might want to get a home that offers high-speed internet.

Where is Uncle Bruce and Aunt Maila going to sleep? Well…..that answer will get a little easier this year as we add floor plans to homes for this 2008 season. As of now (March 2008) we have about twenty-five homes that now have their floor plans on our site. We will keep adding a few more as the weeks go on. Due to the large amount of time it takes to do these, we will add more as time allows us to. You can find these floor plans on the property description page.

One last feature that we have been working on for a few months is the new search engine on our rentals page. The new search options should be on our webpage in the next few days. You will soon be able to search by price range and by certain amenities. Please be mindful that the more amenities you search by, the harder it will be for the system to find you a home. So it is best to only choose one or two amenities that are most important to you.

With the early Easter we will be having this year, we expect things to slowly increase in the rentals as the year goes on. We hope that with the gas prices and slowing economy everyone will still take their hard earned vacations as they have in years past. While you are here, please dont forget to get those rental bikes, kayaks, grills etc. Hope to see you soon…..because the warm weather is already here! It was 72 degrees today!

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Welcome to Holden Beach North Carolina

Funny Stories….

I was thinking about what to write about today. Who doesn’t like funny stories, right? As I was looking out the window thinking (I wish is was about 80 degrees and sunny). Well….we have the sunny part down to a science but the air temps just don’t cut it on the thermometer. The sun is shining and the air temp is hovering around 25 degrees. This got me thinking about the summer days and some of the funny things we have had happen in this business. I know that when a few of you read these things you will think “What is so funny about that?” And that is ok! But to people who have lived here our entire lives, it is really funny because these stories make us look at things with an entirely different viewpoint.

I promise not to use names (because honesty I don’t remember them).

Back in the mid-1980’s when Alan Holden Vacations was known as Alan Holden Realty, we had a lady come into our office that was highly upset about something. She came in and was telling us about how her North Carolina vacation was ruined and her views of the ocean were ruined etc. She never came out and said “My beach trip is ruined because…..” She just went on and one about how she has waited her entire life to come to the beach and now it is ruined. To make a long story very short, she finally said these exact words,”My first beach experience is ruined because those shrimp boats offshore are ruining my view!” We tried will all our power to explain to her that the shrimp boats are “the view”. She was not satisfied and wanted us to call them shrimpers and ask them to move out of the way.” How do you explain that is does not work that way…..???

Another funny story is about mosquitoes. Everyone knows that in the dead of summer mosquitoes are sometimes annoying right before dark. Especially if there has been a lot of rain two or three weeks before. If there is not a lot of wind at night, we humans are prime hunting material for mosquitoes. This story happened many years ago also. We had a phone call from a lady who had checked in several days earlier and was upset. We asked her what was wrong and she complained to us that the mosquitoes were eating her up while she sat on the porch watching the sunsets in the evenings. She asked us if we could do something about them? If we could not, she wanted all of her rental money back. We explained to the customer that we can’t control things such as mosquitoes. She told us to call someone to take care of the problem.

We had an instance of a renter who called before they came to the beach. He wanted to make sure that the house they had rented earlier in the year had “only low tide if front of it”. His children needed a place to play in front of the house. But…..again we explained to him that the tides are a result of the gravitational attraction between the earth, the sun, and the moon. We at AHV do not control the ocean tides. We jokingly told him that he would need to talk to the man upstairs about that (we were referring to God). But the renter said, “Well….put him on the phone”(He was referring to Mr. Holden). Finally we explained how the tides work, and he understood then he laughed about about it.

One last quick story, is the customer who called and told us she was upset with her house location. She explained to us that her grandchildren went and bought boogie boards to ride the waves. However, when they got to the beach, the waves in front of their home were really small and unrideable. But, she did tell us that she could see children riding waves just down the beach. She asked if we could move the family to a different house that had waves in front of it. Again, we can not control the waves nor Mother Nature.

I have been surfing for about 25 years. If I could control the waves, I would never be at work. 🙂

These few stories are not to make fun of anyone. They just bring smiles to my face when I think about all of the funny ones over the years. It seems working in this business, the days are never the same…..or even close.

I am sure that if us locals went back to your home state, we would ask questions as to why things are the way they are there. Why do your schools not close when it snows a lot?

(Now to make fun of ourselves here in our area…to make things even). Yes! It is true about when it snows here…or should I say “when it thinks about snowing here”. In our area of the state, if the weather hints at a possible storm with freezing rain or sleet, the few salt trucks get on standby. To my knowledge, our county does not even have salt trucks. Anyway, if it flurries for a few hours in the early mornings, the school system either has a 2 hour delay or they shut the schools down all together. But if you look out the window that morning, it looks like just another day. Dore (my wife), who grew up is Utah laughs at the school system here. She told me that for schools to be canceled out there, it had to snow close to three or four feet in a day. Here……it seems like the weatherman says,” We have a very good chance of freezing rain and sleet late tonight and into the early morning hours.” Then the next thing we hear on the news is, “There will be a two hour delay for all area schools”. The reason being…………..us southerners CAN’T drive in the snow!” But….just to prove to everyone that the beach does get snow, just click on picture above and see for yourselves.

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The latest news on the island….

I just wanted to catch up on everything that has been happening here on the island in the last week or so.

The Town of Holden Beach signed a contract to tear down the Holden Beach Town Hall. It only took a matter of about 2 days and the destruction began on Monday December
10, 2007. The tractors and dump trucks moved in a steady line for a few hours. When it was all said and done…..the original building was gone. As I sit here and type this blog, I can hear another tractor leveling the dirt to make sure everything just right. It was really sad to see this building go since it has always been here my entire life of living on the beach. It was built in 1968 from old bricks that came from an old hosiery factory that was being town down in Wilmington, NC at the time. My grandfather and a few other men help clean up those old bricks to put the mortar right back on them to build our town hall. I went over there with my little truck and picked up about 200 of these old bricks to build a walkway at my house or a patio. I could just not let these bricks just go to the dump. They had so much history and meaning to me. I will surely miss seeing that building as I drive down the beach.

This past Tuesday was the induction of the new Town Commissioner’s and the new Mayor. At the town meeting, everyone was sworn into office and afterwards refreshments were served! The new incoming leaders are Mayor J. Alan Holden and the five commissioner’s are: Sandy Miller, Ray Lehr, Ken Kiser, Don Glander and returning commissioner Gary Staley.

Another talk of the town has been the GREAT weather we are having. Well……I guess it all depends on what your idea of what great is. For the last 4 days we have been setting heat records back to back. We had two days this week that we were hovering around the 80 degree mark. I know that it is Christmas, and I like it to be cold for the holiday’s. But it is nice for the kids to get all of there toys from Santa and can go out and play in the yard. After all….I could say we are lucky that we are not haveing that terrible snow storm that has been moving across the US. That snow would really be fun…for about a day and I would be over it. It is suppose to get into the 50’s on Monday and that should help cool things down.

We here at Alan Holden Vacation’s and RE/MAX at the Beach wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year! Have a safe holiday as well!!!

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Our new Holden Beach Mayor, our 2008 rental brochure

Well…..it looks like winter is creeping up on us slowly. It is REALLY hard for me to believe that is is almost Christmas. I am still trying to recover from last year’s! I guess I better get on the ball so I am not out on December 24th at 10pm looking for presents for my family.

We now have our 2008 rental brochure available to the public. If you are on our mailing list, you should have received it around Thanksgiving. We were wanting to get it to everyone so the families could sit down together during the holiday and find that perfect beach house for next summer. If you are not on our mailing list please call and get a FREE rental brochure. We are really pleased the way our brochure came out this year. We hope to have the new brochure available for download off our site coming very soon. It should be online before Christmas. The houses are filling up very quickly, so don’t delay!

We want everyone to wish Mr. Alan Holden (owner of Alan Holden Vacations, and our four RE/MAX at the Beach sales offices) a congratulations! He became the new Holden Beach Mayor during our election back on Nov. 6th. Mr. Holden will be sworn into office somtime in the middle of December. Alan Holden’s father, Mr. John F. Holden, was the first mayor and founding father of the town. We now kow that Holden Beach will be back on track to staying a true family beach.

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It is that time of year again!

I know….I know…I have been really slack on the blog front. I have to apoligize now and say “sorry”. This time of year is REALLY busy for us. We have been working non-stop for the past few weeks trying to get our advertising and brochure stuff ready for the 2008 season. Also, in between those times, we have been doing a fairly good bit of fishing tournaments as well on the weekends. So, there is where I have been. 🙂

It is now that great time of year that all the locals love so much. The air is warm in the afternoons, with a cool brisk whiff of fresh air in the mornings. The fish have been biting a good bit in the surf and the local beaches are empty.

I wanted to remind everyone that this coming up weekend (October 27th and 28th) is the annual Festival By The Sea. We have a parade, street vendors, kids games, a sand castle building contest for kids, lots and lots of great food to be eaten, a horseshoe contest and lots of other cool fun things to do. This festival has been around since the early 1980’s and gets bigger and better each and every year. Bring some shopping money becasue you can buy some really nice things while you browse around. Most of the artwork is hand made or hand painted. That is what makes it all so unique! If you are looking for a quick and fun weekend, come on down the Holden Beach, NC this weekend and help us celebrate the Festival By The Sea! You can find some nightly beach rentals through our company here at Alan Holden Vacations. we have some great deals going on so come visit us!

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Please remember 9/11 Victims and their Families

Of course I don’t want to keep drilling it into everyone’s head about the 9/11 anniversary since the media will never let us forget…….and we shouldn’t. Instead of remembering what happened that day, we should all remember the people that were involved and lost.

Think about it like this……If you read in the media the names of those that were lost it is sad no doubt. But if you read those same names and put it with a photo it strikes a different chord. It allows us to see that these people who died were just like us. They were husbands, mothers, father’s, uncles, children, brothers, sisters, and they were children themselves. It really makes you realize that these people were just doing what they did every day….. and that is going to work. It is really hard for me to comprehend still the magnitude of lives lost and how they were lost.

I think back to that day of what I was doing. I had gone surfing to get some waves from Hurricane Erin up at Carolina Beach, NC. My friend Dean and I left Holden Beach around 6am to catch the ferry ride from Southport, NC over to Ft. Fisher. The waves were REALLY good that morning and the ocean was nice and glassy. I would say the surf was around 4-6ft with great conditions. I had to surf early and get back home by 10am to go to work. So we got out of the water and put our boards in the car and started to leave. I was not in the car longer than a minute when my wife called on my cell phone and told me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center in NY. At first I thought it was a small private prop plane….so I really did not think much of it. So I got off the phone with her and turned on the radio. The air waves were full of chatter as to what had happened. Still…..it was not known what kind of plane had hit the first tower. As we began to drive back home, out of nowhere a second plane hit the other tower. Now, I really became concerned. The radio began to start talking about a possible terrorist attack. After listening to this horrible story unfold, it became apparent that this was an attack. As these two buildings were burning, another plane crashes into the Pentagon. Reality had set in to me now…….when will it stop? Not after another plane gets downed in a field in Pennsylvania.

I got home after listening to this unfold on the radio and I ran into the house where my wife and my one year old son was waiting. I gave them a hug and turned on the television. It was worse than I had thought….if that is really possible. I watched it for several hours until I could not take anymore of it. I was mad, upset, and thankful that I still had my family and loved ones.

It still makes me stop and think about all of those lives that were lost and are still missing to this day. So please……say a prayer for those victims, the victims families and the survivors. GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

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Holden Beach Record High Temperature

Extremely High Temps!

I think it is easy to say that the big topic over the past week has been this terrible heat. For the last 7 days or so, the heat have been hovering around 100 degrees. Then with the heat index the scales have tipped up to 112 to 117 degrees! Yes…..it has been a scorcher! It has been so miserable, that when you walk outside you glasses fog up for about 3 minutes. You can’t see a darn thing! Another thing that makes it feel so bad is the humidity mixed with the heat. When you are outside, it is actually hard to breathe because of so much moisture in the air. It almost feel like you are suffocating in way. Southeastern NC has been breaking all kinds of records these past few days. One record stood for 128 years before it was broken a few days ago.

I tried to go out surfing in the middle of the week around 6pm and it was still unbearably hot. The sun and the heat would just cut right through you. The ocean did not even feel refreshing to me. The water temps are hovering around 84 or 85 degrees. Basically, it feels like a very warm bath. Since we are in desparate need of rain, the salt content in the ocean is very high. Just getting a slight amount in your eyes burned a lot. So, with the heat being so high, the warmth of the ocean, and the extreme salt content……. it was best to probably just sit in the house. But then again……that was not even comforting in most cases. Since it was so hot outside, the air conditioners could not even keep up with the demand. My wife and I have brand new A/C units, the coolest my house would get was in the upper 80’s IN the house. Finally at night it would cool off just in time to go to bed. There were many of our vacation rental homes that had A/C issues due to them freezing up. This happens when it is really hot outside, and you turn the A/C down to low. The condensation sweats so much that it begins to freeze up on the unit and therefore the entire unit freezes up…..literally. Now, you have to wait for the ice to melt while the A/C is off. Then, while the ice is melting the temps in the house climbs.

** Rememeber this: As a rule of thumb…..no matter how hot it is, the A/C can only cool within 15 degress or so of what it is outside. Example: If the temp outside is 102 degrees, the coolest your house will likely get will be around 87 degrees. Please just bear with it and do not crank the A/C down further. If you do, the A/C will be fully out of commission for hours.

Please remeber these tips during these summer months:
NEVER leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
Slow down, avoid strenuous activity.
Avoid too much sun.
Plan outdoor games and activities for early morning or evening.
Avoid extreme temperature changes.
Stay indoors as much as possible; use fans or air conditioners to cool the air. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing that will cover as much skin as possible.
Protect face and head by wearing a wide brimmed hat.
Drink plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty, and avoid alcoholic beverages.

Thanks and hopefully things will cool off even more. If we can cool off down to 90 degrees, then that would be heaven!

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