While snow continues to fall in Long Beach, City Hall is anticipating another busy beach season this summer.
One indicator is the city’s recent purchase of 261,00 beach identification and access cards — 3,000 more than it bought last summer, according to City Manager Charles Theofan.
“We ran out last year,” Theofan said when asked about the reason for buying additional passes, calling 2010's beach attendance “phenomenal.”
At the Feb. 15 meeting, the City Council approved the purchase of the passes at $18,270 from Diabold Indenx of Uniontown, Ohio, one of seven bidders on the contract.
“Will 3,000 cards cover us,” Council member John McLaughlin asked the city mangers before the vote. “How short were we last year?”
Theofan left that judgment to Commissioner of Parks and Recreation Joe Brand. “He said we’ll be alright with this,” Theofan said of the additional number of passes.
Last May, the council raised the cost of a daily beach pass from $10 to $12, although the city did not change the prices for seasonal passes. At the time, Theofan said the city expected beachgoers would pay the extra $2 and buy the same number of daily passes as they did in 2009, and thereby raise about $300,000 more on the fees.
The last time the city increased the price of a daily pass, from $7 to $10 in 2007, the number of passes dropped but the city still managed to bring in some $400,000 more in revenue than it had in 2006, according to the city.
Fran Adelson, a real estate agent with Prudential Douglas Elliman on West Park Avenue, asked the city manger if the beach passes could go on sale earlier than the scheduled date, May 9.
“The reason for that is that I’m in the real estate business and I know many other real estate agents and we like to give them out as presents to people,” Adelson said.
Theofan said that as soon as the passes are delivered the city would make them available. “I think that’s an excellent idea,” he said.