WILDWOOD - The organization that represents hotels and motels in the Wildwoods is opposing proposed beach tags.
North Wildwood, Wildwood and Wildwood Crest mayors confirmed to the Herald that cursory discussions took place on introducing a beach fee, like those that exist in other New Jersey shore towns, as soon as 2022.
The Greater Wildwoods Hotel and Motel Association (GWHMA) released a resolution to the mayors, stating their opposition to tags and calling the potential change “counterproductive.”
“I think it would create a drop in tourism because I think people would go further south. There are no beach fees south of Cape May,” said Stephen Tecco, president, GWHMA, in an interview, referring to free beaches in Delaware. “I think the motels would have a difficult time handling the beach fee issue for their guests.”
Wildwood Mayor Peter Byron said he disagrees that a beach fee would hurt tourism.
“People don’t just come to Wildwood because of our beaches, they come to Wildwood because of our great Boardwalk,” he said. “I don't know that they would be traveling from North Jersey and paying $10-$15 in tolls, spending another $40 in gas, just to save $3. That doesn't make sense.”
The mayors pointed out a need for revenue tags would generate.
Tecco said he feels the organization and other businesses should have a seat at the table when deciding on the beach fee issue. He criticized communication from policymakers, saying he hasn’t received any correspondence, except one phone call from Wildwood Crest Mayor Don Cabrera. Cabrera said he favors putting the issue on the ballot and allowing voters to decide.
“I have been disappointed with the lack of consideration to the business community as this is being discussed,” Tecco added.