Despite less than ideal weather most weekends, the Town's beaches brought in a near record of revenue this summer. Local leaders also continue to applaud the parking arrangements that give residents priority. #SecondBeach #MiddletownRI #LiveWorkPlay
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Matt Sheley at (401) 712-2221 or email@example.com
BEACHES ENJOY ANOTHER STRONG SUMMER
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (OCTOBER 20, 2021) – Second and Third beaches did extremely well over the summer of 2021.
A report from Finance Director Marc Tanguay indicated parking brought in close to $1.58 million over a 100-day season, which included a number of lousy weather weekends.
The figures showed seasonal passes brought in close to $978,500, with daily parking fees generating another $601,200. In the past, the $1 million mark has been used as a benchmark for the success of a summer revenue wise at the beaches.
“It was a great season from my standpoint,” Town Administrator Shawn J. Brown said. “For the second year in a row, we’ve been able to operate the parking lots in a manner that residents haven’t waited to go to the beach, which makes a huge difference in the kind of feedback we get from our residents…
“It was not a great year weather wise and the fact that we were able to get to almost the 2019 level of revenue while operating under the new model is really an accomplishment…The residents want to go to the beach. They don’t want to wait in line.”
Councilwoman M. Theresa Santos and others were equal in their praise for the season and staff.
“The young people, the gate attendants, they were always very pleasant, very polite,” Santos said. “We have a bunch of young people working down there who are really, really great. They were always respectful not only of me, but I watched how they handled the people coming in and they were always polite and always smiling.”
Councilman Dennis Turano said he liked the positive changes at the beach, particularly the sale of clothing at Second Beach.
“I thought it was really neat that we had the apparel down there,” Turano said. “The Sachuest Beach sweatshirts. A vendor down there was running that, but we saw some royalties (about $8,600) from those sales.”
The Town’s Operations & Facility Manager Will Cronin who oversees the beaches agreed.
“As the numbers showed, we had a very good summer despite some less-than-ideal weather on seemingly every weekend,” Cronin said. “I want to extend a big ’Thank you!’ to the entire beach staff, who always go above and beyond to make the beach experience a safe and fun time for everyone.”
Every summer, people from across Middletown and the globe visit Second – or Sachuest – Beach to enjoy the soft sands, rolling surf and family-friendly atmosphere.
To park, it costs most visitors $20 on weekdays and $30 on weekends. Seasonal parking passes are also available for $70 for most residents and $140 for nonresidents. There is no entry fee for pedestrians or those who ride a bicycle to the beach.
After COVID-19 struck, the Town Council decided to switch the parking up to give more preference to residents. As part of those changes, about half the 1,200 spots in the main lot on Sachuest Point Road were set aside for locals. The result was that residents didn’t have to wait in line to get a parking spot at the beach, even on the busiest days during peak hours.
Digging down into the financials, the seasonal sticker sales reflected a positive shift in that direction. According to the numbers, there were about $281,000 in resident sticker sales this summer, up about $40,000 from the summer of 2020 when COVID-19 restrictions were in place.
“There’s no question the changes we made to our parking system were embraced by residents,” Cronin said. “Residents really, really, enjoy the changes made last season that give resident pass holders their own line into the main lot. It was nice to have beach operations running at 100 percent again.”
To view a copy of Tanguay’s report, visit https://clerkshq.com/Content/Attachments/Middletown-ri/211018_39.pdf?clientSite=Middletown-ri online.