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Outer Banks

A Message from the Twiddy Family

Weathering the Storm:
Hospitality in the face of COVID-19

A few months ago, the Twiddy & Company team met through a series of workshops to more clearly define our mission, values, and purpose.

We’re a family hospitality company founded by our parents more than 40 years ago. We’ve grown significantly since our humble beginnings working out of a tiny office in Duck, North Carolina, and we felt it was important that all members of our team unite around a shared vision for our future together.

For our vision statement, we landed on, “deliver southern hospitality today to create a propitious niche for tomorrow.”

This was driven by our belief that we have a responsibility to deliver an exceptional experience with every interaction and to seize every opportunity to create a positive impact with the intent of building long-term relationships.

At the time, we were looking toward a strong year. Guests were booking their vacation homes far in advance of what they had in previous years, and all signs pointed toward continued growth through 2020 and beyond.

Little did we know that a few months later, not only our business, but those values and principles would be challenged in a way they hadn’t in our 42-year history.

This situation is arduous for everyone, and those of us wearing Twiddy & Company blue are not exempt. From the balcony level, the challenges facing not just our company, but the entire hospitality industry on the Outer Banks, are hard to imagine. Each day in this new reality, we pursue a balance of value between our obligations to our guests, our responsibilities to our homeowners, and our working covenant with our staff.

We are, after all, a people company.

When Dad and Mom first started Twiddy & Company, their philosophy was that the company and rental property owners are business partners pursuing mutual goals. This has not changed over the years, and we have a professional responsibility to this group to protect their investment.

It’s a common misconception that we at Twiddy & Company own directly the vacation homes we are fortunate to represent. On the contrary, these beautiful homes are, in many cases, the culmination of a lifetime of savings, hard work, and risk on the part of what is an extraordinary group of individuals.

As we continue to support bridge-based refunds for guests, we correspondingly diminish the economic viability of our wonderful homeowners. We work to thread this needle carefully, consistently, and communicatively, understanding the impact on both parties.

None of our success would be possible were it not for the thousands of guests who stay in our homes each year. These are individuals who have a deeply-rooted love and powerfully fond emotions for the area.

They come with their families and create memories that last well beyond the time they spend on the Outer Banks. We hope their time on these Banks includes many of the best weeks of their lives.

Like all of us, these families now find themselves trying to navigate an uncertain future. In some cases, COVID-19 has cost them their jobs, and many have high levels of anxiety and fear about their health and well-being. The situation is also forcing them to make tough financial decisions which include whether or not they can even afford a vacation once travel restrictions are lifted and life begins to return to normal - whatever that might look like in this new reality.

Even arriving on the Outer Banks will come with new challenges as each state (and even counties) has different and separate rules and regulations on access and travel.

As we have done for more than 40 years, we’ll continue to work with each guest, case-by-case, and do our very best to accommodate them in the best way possible.

This brings us to our personal heroes.

Our team at Twiddy & Company has always been a cut above the rest, but in light of COVID-19, we can’t say enough about the dedication, creativity, and thoughtfulness they’re putting into their work. Many are working overtime to accommodate the barrage of phone calls, emails, and text messages we’re receiving on a daily basis. Some have offered to work for free during this situation, and many have said simply that we are a family and we do what most families do in times of stress--we pull together.

In our new remote offices on the Outer Banks, we’ll continue to dialogue with our guests, homeowners, and staff to avoid worst-case outcomes for anyone wherever possible.

We’ll work with guests who are concerned about their vacation. We’ll work with homeowners--our business partners--to offer a way forward for the profitable operation of their investments. We’ll work with our staff--our most precious resource as a business--to protect their well-being and also share a future vision of our business for them.

At the same time, we recognize that this current state of uncertainty will not last forever and vacationers will yearn to return to the Outer Banks. When that day comes, hopefully soon, we look forward to welcoming them back to our beautiful beaches. That is why our dedicated team is working daily to help us prepare for that first guest check-in.

A brand’s values are easy to live out when things are going well. It’s during these challenging times they’re really put to the test.

We’re proud of everyone in our Twiddy & Company family - our guests, homeowners, staff, and the locals on the Outer Banks - who are weathering a storm bigger than any hurricane we’ve ever faced.

In the coming days and weeks, we ask for your patience and partnership as we work to support all of these groups. There will be some difficult situations, conversations, and outcomes not ideal for all parties. Our solutions won’t always be perfect, but you have our guarantee that we’ll work hard to deliver on our southern hospitality promise.

Thank you,
Clark, Ross and the Twiddy Family