Unsurprisingly, long-time Outer Bankers usually possess the level gaze of one who’s spent a long time looking at the horizon. It’s a look not often worn by city people, whose vistas are often composed of high rises, train trestles, factories and overpasses. We don’t have those things here, which is one reason that so many visitors work all year in order to spend a week or two vacationing on these barrier islands.
While the opportunity to work on developing that far-off gaze is certainly alluring, the Outer Banks has a whole lot more to offer. We’re flush with natural beauty, entertainment, shopping, dining and outdoor activities — and we have a slew of resources, both in print and on line, to direct you to a wide array of diversions. If you spent your vacation poring through all these resources, you’d be left with little time for your actual vacation, which is why we’ve created OBX.Live, a single-source portal for the best information on the Outer Banks.
“OBX.Live is your complete resource for everything to see, do and explore on the Outer Banks of North Carolina,” says Rex Peters, founder of the new website and app. It’s comprised of a comprehensive business directory, an events calendar, a source for the best deals, a weather report, a description of attractions and it offers articles curated from other sources and stories written exclusively for the site’s readers. Best of all, its content is created by people who have lived and worked here for a long, long time.
“I’m excited about bringing together the most talented Outer Banks marketers, advertisers and publishers that we could assemble!” exclaims Rex.
Rex’s hand-picked team of veteran Outer Bankers is made up of swashbuckler types, some of them independent business owners who were former competitors. It’s a strategic collaboration designed to bring the sum of the members’ talent and experience to advertisers and page visitors. Some team members have spent their entire lives on the island, while the most recent newcomer has been here 27 years. Most are serial entrepreneurs who get way too excited about ideas.
There may be some truth to the rumor that many of the team’s members started their own media businesses because no one else would hire them. They’re not actually crazy enough to warrant a restraining order, they’re just a little driven and a lot independent, and they’ve found that ownership does indeed have its privileges: You don’t want to wear shoes to work? Go barefoot. You want to surf during your lunch break? Fine: sell advertising to other business owners who are out there in the line-up. You want to write off a trip to Vegas? Well, write a story about it or mark it as the destination for your next board meeting.
It’s readily apparent that Rex likes launching companies, whether on his own or in partnerships. Some of his media ventures include The North Beach Sun, Cable Ad, The Beach Book and Beach TV. In the 1990s, his wife, Tori, came on as a partner with The North Beach Sun, and she and her twin sister, Sue Goodrich, were an indomitable advertising sales force. Sue and Tori bring their client knowledge, contacts and contagious cheerful friendliness to OBX.Live.
Chief of Staff Jeff Greene is the IT guy who’s pulling everything together in the office. More than your typical computer geek, Jeff is not one of those guys relegated to the back room: his talents extend to exemplary customer service. When asked why he’s excited about this new venture, he says, “I’m happy that dedicated locals are coming together to create something wonderful.”
Husband-and-wife SEO team Bart and Jana Murray (The Optimizers) grew up on the island, making them true Outer Banks natives. Having provided on-line marketing services since 2007, they specialize in search engine optimization and website design. “I think it’s great to work with a group of like-minded OBXers who have seen lots of changes and have come together to help folks on this sandbar, whether they’re living here or visiting,” Bart says. “OBX.Live provides a better way to keep up with events and things to do on this splendid island we call home.”
“This is a group of local residents, all of whom have owned businesses on the Outer Banks and have adopted the Outer Banks lifestyle,” adds contributing writer Russ Lay (OBX.Live’s Blogger/Buzz Master). “We all have a true appreciation of this region — its people, the businesses, the natural beauty.” Russ co-owned the Outer Banks Voice from 2010 through 2019, and has been a full-time teacher of economics and political science at College of the Albemarle since 2010. Even though Russ is no longer with The Outer Banks Voice, the on-line news outlet provides many of OBX.Live’s articles.
Publisher Linda Lauby, who moved from the corporate world to the Outer Banks almost three decades ago, is OBX.Live’s wordsmith (Media Mercenary). Owner of Outer Banks Press, which publishes books, magazines and collateral materials, she also sponsored The Winged Horse Extravaganza, a public art installation of fiberglass horses created to celebrate the 2003 Centennial of Flight. Linda brings 35 years’ worth of experience writing, editing, designing, managing other writers and promoting these barrier islands. “Our lives here are unapologetically intertwined with nature, and it’s my goal that our work product reflects this state of being,” Linda says. “I’m humbled to embark on this new project with such notable media partners who love this island as much as I do.”
“It’s going to be a great team, and we’re going to have a lot of fun working together,” says Tori.
“We deliver experience and knowledge,” Rex adds. “OBX.Live should be the very first place you think about to find the information you need.”
And that leaves a lot more time for gazing at the horizon.