CAPE MAY – At a city council meeting Tuesday, Oct. 3, City Manager Michael Voll said his office would be proposing increases in beach tag prices at the next council meeting. Cape May has a self-financing beach utility that is supported with beach tag sales and that pays for normal beach maintenance and for summer beach personnel, from taggers to lifeguards.
Voll cited rising pay scales for lifeguards as one of the costs leading to a price increase. This past summer, daily tags cost $8 and seasonal tags cost $30.
“We have recently settled a contract with the lifeguard union that needs to be reflected in the tag prices,” he said.
The last few years have seen unprecedented competition for lifeguards in an environment where the applicant pool has been shrinking. Pay scale increases have been the norm rather than the exception.
In Cape May County, six of the ocean-fronting municipalities require tags for access to their beaches. With the recently announced 2024 beach tag increases in Sea Isle City, all six communities are in the range of $8 to $10 for a daily tag and $30 to $40 for a seasonal tag, depending often on whether the seasonal tag is bought before or after Memorial Day. Strathmere beaches and those in the Wildwoods do not require beach tags.
There have been increases in recent years in Avalon, Stone Harbor and Ocean City. Sea Isle has announced its new prices for 2024, and it appears that Cape May will be following suit. The sixth community that makes use of beach tags is Cape May Point.
Contact the author, Vince Conti, at email@example.com.