A marked increase in the number of daily and weekly beach badges sold during the 2020 summer season was one of the primary drivers of what became a record-setting year for revenue, officials said at a council meeting Tuesday night.
Daily beach badge sales surged from $103,000 in 2019 to $186,000 this season, but it was the 15,792 seasonal badges that made up the bulk of the revenue. In all, Lavallette generated $1,268,844 in badge sales this summer, Councilman Michael Stogdill said at the meeting.
“The dailies and the weeklies, a lot of that could be from the result or coronavirus – people can’t travel so they came to the Shore,” said Stogdill. “That was up and down the coast.”
Lavallette also increased enforcement of beach badge requirements this year and tweaked the process for purchasing daily badges to comply with social distancing standards. Daily badges could be purchased from a shack at the borough’s baseball field instead of directly from roving checkers. The borough also increased beach control personnel.
“The big complaint last year was people getting on without the badge,” said Stogdill. “We put a plan together for increased enforcement, a checker at each entrance and it cost about $10,000.”
The borough more than made up for the increased salary line, officials said.
“The enforcement clearly worked,” said Stogdill. “I didn’t get even one complaint about people being on the beach without a badge.”
In many cases, people spent more time “down the shore” this summer, including hundreds who still purchased seasonal badges late in the beach season.
“There were 300 season badges [sold] in August,” said Councilwoman Joanne Filippone. “Wow!”
While sales held up for the entirety of the season, officials are not counting on the revenue to be matched in 2021.
“I don’t necessarily think this will transfer to the next season if things are back to normal,” said Mayor Walter LaCicero.