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Island Towns See Surging Beach Badge Sales in ’23, Lavallette Brings Back Bags and Blankets

A beach badge sign on the Ortley Beach oceanfront. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

A beach badge sign on the Ortley Beach oceanfront. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

The summer of 2023 is turning out to be a banner season for local communities, all of which have reported a surge in beach badge sales as the summer enters its home stretch.

As of last week, Seaside Heights Councilwoman Agnes Polhemus said, the borough has generated $1,700,000 in badge sales. That figure places the borough within striking distance of last year’s revenue of $2,471,000, a record that eclipsed the previous year’s tally of $1,947,755.

Next door in Ortley Beach, Toms River reported $597,285 in badge revenue so far this season. Both township officials and some residents were curious as to whether the small width of the beach, impacted by off-season storms and the delay of a much-anticipated replenish project, would affect badge sales. So far, those fears have not come to fruition, as the township is outpacing last year’s returns. By the same week of August last season, the township had generated $568,617 in badge revenue.

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In Lavallette, badge sales have broken the million-dollar mark, with $1,218,000 in badge revenue having been collected so far in 2023.

“It’s a good number,” said Councilman Michael Stogdill. “It keeps us on top of our expenses for this year, and of course getting set up for next year as well. We’re in good shape.”

The borough will easily shatter last season’s revenue, which totaled $1,267,267 for the entire season. It may well best the overall record of $1,268,844 in badge revenue set in 2020, when many towns saw a surge in demand thanks to pandemic-era “stay-cation” trends.

Seaside Park’s latest beach badge revenue figures were not readily available, however the borough is holding its regular council meeting Thursday night, where beach updates are often shared.

Bags and Blankets Return

In Lavallette, the borough has revived its sale of beach bags and blankets with the town emblem and name emblazoned on them – a popular gift, especially this time of year to remind departing college students of their hometown beach.

The blankets, which are made from a unique soft material similar to that of a sweatshirt, are $35 each. The beach bags are $25 each.

The borough has a limited number of bags and blankets available. For more information about the sales, those interested can contact borough hall at 732-793-7477.

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