By Donald Wittkowski
Admit it, how many times did you run into the ocean or pretend to be asleep when you saw the beach tag inspectors bearing down on you?
Yes, you suddenly realized that most of the spending money went for pizza and parking and you didn’t have enough cash left over to buy beach tags for you or your family.
Well, you can come out of the water now. Just make sure you have your cellphone with you.
Sea Isle City has made it easier for vacationers to buy beach tags through a mobile app that lets people use their credit or debit cards instead of having to fumble around for cash in their wallet or purse.
“Everyone takes their phone with them wherever they go. But they may not always take their wallet,” explained Paula Doll, Sea Isle’s chief financial officer.
Sea Isle launched an app in 2016 allowing people to buy beach tags using their iPhones, but has expanded the service this year for Android devices. Friday was the first day that preseason tags went on sale on the app for the summer of 2017, giving bargain hunters a chance to save $5 without having to make the trek to City Hall.
“What it basically does for people, it allows them to purchase their beach tags without being here,” city spokeswoman Katherine Custer said. “That’s very pertinent for people who want to purchase their beach tags at the preseason rate.”
The preseason rate of $20 is good until May 15. Afterward, the price goes up to $25 for seasonal tags.
For more information on downloading the free app, go to: http://www.viplypass.com/sea-isle-city/ .
People will still need to pick up their beach tags at City Hall, the Sea Isle Welcome Center or from a beach badge inspector, even if they use their mobile device to buy them. But the app gives them the convenience of buying tags with a credit or debit card on the phone instead of worrying about having enough cash.
“They do like using their credit card,” Doll said.
Last year, when the app was available only for iPhones, Sea Isle sold a total of 1,364 daily, seasonal and preseason tags to mobile customers, amounting to about $26,600 in revenue, Doll noted.
“Overall, it went well. People were happy with it,” she said.
Now that the app is compatible with Android devices, mobile sales are expected to grow.
“I do expect more people to take advantage of it,” Doll said.
Sea Isle has the luxury of having a year of experience with mobile beach tag sales, which should make operations go even smoother this summer, Doll predicted.