By MADDY VITALE
“Excuse me. Do you know how to work this thing?” Jasmine Scott called out to a bystander.
The “thing,” as she called it, was one of the parking kiosks on John F. Kennedy Boulevard in Sea Isle City.
With a little assistance, Scott was able to key in her parking spot number into the kiosk and pay using her credit card.
Fully paid for three hours, Scott, a visitor from Philadelphia, headed off for an afternoon on the beach on Labor Day.
Scott and other visitors will be happy to know that starting Tuesday parking is free in Sea Isle. After Labor Day, free parking is one of the perks in Sea Isle to start the fall season. Beach tags are no longer required, either, after the holiday.
Sea Isle City Public Information Officer Katherine Custer explained how they are so many incentives to come down for a visit and free parking and beach tags just add to the allure.
“Even though many folks feel that Sea Isle City’s parking fees are reasonably priced, it is still very nice not to have to pay for parking when the autumn season arrives,” she noted. “Just as is the case on the Monopoly board, everyone loves free parking in Sea Isle City.”
Throughout the summer, revenue raised from beach tag sales helps to pay for a number of vital services, such as hiring lifeguards and keeping the beaches well maintained and clean. Parking revenue pays for city services, Custer said.
But nearly four years ago, City Council passed an ordinance to stop charging for parking after Labor Day weekend with the notion that it would give visitors an added reason to visit the resort in the fall. In turn, it helps give a boost to the business community during the offseason.
So let’s see. No parking fees and no free beach days. Why go anywhere else?
“Of course, not having to remember the beach tag when you are headed to the sand is another added incentive, just like people look forward to bringing their dogs back to the beaches again on Oct. 1,” Custer pointed out.
Sea Isle offers an array of events and activities for visitors and residents after the bustling summer season ends.
“Factor in the great weather and the quiet shoreline and you realize there are many good reasons to be in Sea Isle City in the autumn,” Custer said.
Even the Sea Isle City Police Department put out a message reminding everyone that parking is free now.
“Beginning September 7th, parking is free throughout the city,” the alert said. “The parking kiosks and the Park Mobile App will be turned off. Enjoy the off season.”