Lavallette, in its second summer running a beach during the coronavirus pandemic, has essentially tied the revenue from 2020 – then a record-breaking season that continued a multi-year trend of increased beach demand.
The borough in 2021 generated $1,260,594 from beach badge revenue as well as secondary items such as parking stickers and boat launch permits. Last year, the final tally for the season was ever-so-close at $1,268,844.
“It was a very good season we had,” said Councilman Michael Stogdill, who oversees beach operations. “We were able to meet the obligations that were set forth before the season, and if you recall there were some important purchases we needed to make in order to serve our beachgoers.”
Officials reported increases in seasonal and senior citizen daily beach badges, plus boat launch permits and parking stickers. Daily and weekly badge sales were down slightly, likely because the summer lull in the pandemic increased confidence in the expectation of a full beach season, leading more people to purchase season badges at a better value.
Stogdill said the summer was marked by some struggles to maintain staffing levels amidst the nationwide labor shortage, but the borough’s lifeguards often went above and beyond the call of duty to assist beachgoers.
“Everybody worked hard,” he said. “The guards, I have to tip my hat to them, because it was a busy year. A lot of those saves this year were of a far more serious nature than in the past. They were on top of things, everything worked out, and the equipment that was purchased to aid with that worked well and possibly saved a life as well.”