Beach badges making more money for NJ shore towns
While every other coastal state in the nation lets visitors step onto most public beaches at no charge, here in New Jersey, $45 for all-summer access is considered a steal for avid shore visitors.
That was the discounted season price Seaside Heights was offering earlier in the year until the price jumped to $60 on May 16.
As of May 25, the borough brought in $222,155 through season badge sales, according to Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz.
That's an uptick in revenue from the same time last year, but discounted preseason purchases were $10 cheaper in 2016. And full-price season badges were $55.
Many shore towns offer a discounted rate on the summer-long passes to incentivize early purchases, making them available in November or December.
As of April 30, Ocean City sold roughly $730,000 worth of seasonal badges, finance director Frank Donato said.
"That was up $89,000 over April 30 of last year," Donato said. "It's an increase of about 4,450 badges over last year."
Updated numbers for May will not be available until a few days into June.
Like last year, season passes are on sale for $20 until the price jumps to $25 on June 1. Donato said it's expected the city will do about $4 million in revenue related to seasonal, weekly and daily badges.
"That money goes right back into maintaining and protecting the beaches throughout the year," he said.
Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty described the borough's beach badge sales as "strong," but "not off the charts." The seasonal charge is $55 for adults and $15 for senior citizens.
"We're very happy where we're at," Doherty said.
This summer, Belmar is offering free beach access to military veterans. Free admission had already been available to active military and their families, as well as first responders.
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at email@example.com.