By DONALD WITTKOWSKI
Sea Isle City’s beach tag sales for 2021 reflected a “strong and steady” summer tourism season.
Year after year, beach tag sales are a key indicator of the strength of the vacation season at the shore.
In Sea Isle’s case, total revenue from beach tag sales for 2021 came in at $1,347,805, slightly under 2020’s figure of $1,351,240, said Paula Doll, the city’s chief financial officer.
Normally, the weather is the dominant factor that affects beach tag sales. Doll said bouts of rainy weather during Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend and at other times through the summer were likely to blame for the small decline in revenue.
“If the weather is nice, it’s a huge weekend for us,” she said in an interview Monday.
The beach tag figures for 2020 and 2021 were so close that it was essentially “neck and neck,” she noted.
“I think it’s strong and steady, so we’re happy,” Doll said of 2021’s revenue.
The all-time record for Sea Isle was set in 2015 with $1,471,321 in beach tag sales.
Revenue generated by beach tag sales is an important source of funding for the city. It covers the cost of keeping the beaches clean, collecting the trash, employing lifeguards and hiring summer police officers. The revenue also helps to pay for the city’s beach replenishment projects.
In another important indicator of the strength of the summer season, Sea Isle’s parking revenue in 2021 increased by nearly 5 percent over 2020.
Altogether, parking revenue was $264,614 for this summer, compared to $252,376 last year, Doll said.
Sea Isle introduced the ParkMobile app this summer to give motorists the option of paying for their parking on their cellphones and other mobile devices.
The city also has parking kiosks and meters that allow motorists to pay with cash, coins, credit cards and debit cards.
Although it was only the first year for the app, ParkMobile payments accounted for about 70 percent of Sea Isle’s parking revenue over the summer, Doll said.
With the parking app proving so successful in just its first year, Sea Isle plans to evaluate the remaining kiosks and meters to decide whether to bring them back for next year.
In the meantime, Sea Isle’s residents and visitors don’t have to worry about beach tags or parking fees until next summer. Beach tags are required from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend and parking fees are in effect from May 15 to Labor Day.