Seaside Heights officials say the borough’s new fee schedule will go into effect Monday, Jan. 8, reflecting a number of modifications to prices.
The council first proposed the revised fees in November and adopted an ordinance setting them in stone at a more recent meeting. Older pre-season holiday badge prices were honored before Christmas Eve, however the new pre-season price will rise by $10 for an annual badge.
For 2024, season badges will cost $65 if purchased between through May 15, 2024, and $75 if purchased on or after May 16, 2024. The full-price fees increased overall by $5 over last season. Daily badges will rise from $10 per day to $13 per day; weekly badges will rise from $35 to $50. Senior citizen badge prices will remain unchanged at $15 each or two senior badges for $25.
Children 11-years-old and under do not need a badge to access the beach. Additionally, active and retired military personnel and their dependents can access the beach for free every day with the appropriate Common Access Card, Uniformed Services ID Card, DD-214, or Veterans Benefit ID Card issued by the VA. The borough also offers beach fee discounts throughout the summer, including promotional “Mom and Me” Days, “Dad and Me” Days, and “Bring a Friend” Days.
Like many neighboring communities, the price increase was driven by increased personnel costs as well as higher prices to maintain the boardwalk and beach infrastructure due to inflation and the cost of labor.
“There are hard costs that have gone up with inflation, but this is driven more by the cost of personnel,” said Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz upon the passage of the ordinance. “You have to be competitive to hire people and this brings us more in line with the surrounding towns.”
The borough remains in the process of replacing its former smartphone app-based purchasing system for badges after the vendor, Viply, shut down its services. The borough is consider point-of-sale card processing or alternative systems that will help automate purchases, potentially including beach badge vending kiosks.