By MADDY VITALE
Despite the pandemic and a temporary shutdown of beaches and businesses during the 2020 summer season, Ocean City beach tag sales were solid, officials said.
The final official beach tag revenue number was $3.83 million, Ocean City Public Information Officer Doug Bergen said Monday. In 2019, the figure was $4.03 million.
In the unusual spring and summer season, when wearing face coverings was the norm and social distancing became a term used routinely to denote six feet of separation between strangers, summer tourism remained busy, officials said.
Parking revenue dipped in 2020, ending about $1 million off the 2019 season: $2.28 million for 2020 versus $3.3 million in 2019. However, Bergen explained some observations of the overall season.
“With restrictions on restaurants, retail and rides, parking got off to a slow start in May and June, and never really recovered,” he said.
Bergen continued, “One takeaway is that it appeared to be a strong enough year among residents, property owners and vacation rentals, but less so among the transient day-trip population.”
By mid-May when Gov. Phil Murphy officially lifted restrictions to allow sunbathing on the state’s beaches, tourists flocked to Ocean City.
Ocean City extended the discounted price for beach tags through June, from $25 for a seasonal tag to $20 and people took advantage of the discounts.
The end of the discounted rate is typically the end of May. June ended up being a banner month for tag sales.
Ocean City’s Chief Financial Officer Frank Donato said of the season that while parking was “well off usual,” beach tag sales “hung in there.”
“In looking at the tag sales by type, seasonal sales were actually a bit stronger than the past several years, but both the daily and weekly sales were off,” Donato said.
Looking ahead at a better summer season, visitors to the resort as well as residents can take advantage of discounted beach tag sales for 2021 on sale now for $20. The sale price will remain in effect through May 31, 2021. On June 1, the price increases to $25.
Only seasonal beach tags can be purchased at this time. Weekly and daily tags will be available for purchase during the season.
To buy seasonal tags visit the city’s website by clicking here. People may also buy the tags at the following locations throughout the resort.
City Hall (861 Asbury Ave.): Mon.-Fri. 8:45 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Music Pier (Boardwalk at Moorlyn Terrace): Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Rt. 52 Welcome Center: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Henry Knight Building (12th and Haven Ave.): Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Aquatic & Fitness Center (17th and Simpson Ave.): Mon.-Fri. 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
People must adhere to social distancing guidelines, stay six feet apart in line and wear a mask.
For additional information call 609-399-6111.