BRADLEY BEACH — A global health pandemic did not scare off beachgoers last weekend as the borough nearly doubled the amount of money collected from the sale of beach badges compared to last year.
From Friday, July 3, to Sunday, July 5, the borough earned $94,367 from the sale of daily beach badges, significantly more than the borough netted last year, which was $57,069.
“I believe that the borough did a great job handling the crowds this past Fourth of July weekend, as we averaged 7,775 beachgoers a day over the three days without incident and in accordance with the executive order. My hats off to the beach staff and the police department for a job well done by all,” Borough Administrator David Brown II said.
Councilman Al Gubitosi was on the beachfront this weekend with his family.
“I think it was a critically important weekend because we knew we were going to be tested in terms of trying to create a safe environment for our visitors,” the councilman said. “We knew … if it was a sunny holiday weekend, that it was going to test the borough’s capacity.”
Early on, it became clear that it was going to be a busy weekend. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the borough sold out of daily beach badges from its online VIPLY app before 10 a.m.
There were points over the weekend that the borough had to close off some beach entrances that had gotten too crowded and divert beachgoers to less congested beach sections, according to the councilman.
Fourth of July weekend is one of the busiest weekends of the year for the borough, and a successful weekend was desperately needed as the borough’s beach utility, which funds staff at the beachfront and needs to make $700,000 this summer in order to break even.
That task is a difficult one, as the borough is limiting the amount of beachgoers allowed on the beach in order to comply with social distancing. The maximum number of beachgoers that could fit on the beach is 20,000. The borough is allowing a maximum of 11,000 beachgoers on the sand at a time this summer.
This year, the borough also increased the price of daily beach badges from $10 to $13 in order to help fund the beach utility, as well as help to offset the increases made to the state’s minimum wage.
Season beach badges, which sell for $80, have been selling like hot cakes in Bradley Beach. Originally, the borough ran out of its allotment of 7,000 season beach badges as beachgoers feared large crowds and limited space would mean the only way to get on the beach would be with a season badge.
On Wednesday, the borough ordered 1,000 new adult season beach badges. According to the announcement on the borough’s website, the sale started on July 8 at 9 a.m. and will run while supplies last. Badges can be purchased online, via the VIPLY app, or in person at the beach badge booths on Third and Cliff avenues. Of those 1,000 badges, 400 are available online and 600 are available in person, with a limit of four-season beach badges per transaction.
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