By MADDY VITALE
There’s some record-breaking news going on in Ocean City and it isn’t the heat.
Vacationers are buying up beach tags as quickly as the city can sell them. Officials are predicting a banner summer, as long as the weather stays great.
“The final numbers for preseason beach tag sales are in, and they’re at record pace,” Ocean City Public Information Officer Doug Bergen said Tuesday.
The seasonal tags went on sale at the discounted price of $20 each in late November. The discount period ended after May 31. The price is now $25.
“Ocean City sold more than 112,000 seasonal tags and brought in a record $2,242,000 in seasonal tags during the preseason discount period,” Bergen said.
The previous record was $2,121,000 in 2019.
“The city sold 6,050 more tags during this preseason than in 2019,” Bergen said.
Judging by the number of tags sold, officials are predicting an even bigger success than the 2019 banner summer season, when weather made for plenty of balmy beach days.
“Sales during the 2020 holiday season and throughout the early spring were exceptionally high, and they’ve held steady ever since,” Bergen said.
However, as is the case every summer, “Weather will be a big factor, but all indications point to a blockbuster summer in Ocean City,” he noted.
Just before the preseason figures were tallied, Ocean City Chief Financial Officer Frank Donato told OCNJDaily.com in May that preseason beach tag sales are a strong indicator of how the summer will shape up.
After the 2020 season dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, temporary beach closures and the mask mandate, the beach tag sales seem to highlight the desire of vacationers to get back to their favorite retreat and hit the beach.
Donato pointed out in May that the low number of beach tag sales in 2020 “certainly was a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Yet, the figures for a successful summer, such as the one in 2019, still do not compare to the strong start to the 2021 season, he said.
Daily tags are $5 and weekly tags are $10. They went on sale June 5. For complete information on tags and how to purchase them, visit https://store.ocnj.us/.
The site also includes information on free seasonal beach tags for veterans and active military members.
This year’s military tag design honors the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post. Next year’s military tag design will honor the American Legion.