We had joy, we had fun and, in East Lyme, we had a really good season in the sun!
The great beach weather drew big crowds to the beaches in Niantic this year, Parks and Recreation Director David Putnam told the East Lyme Parks and Recreation Committee last night, and that added up to big money for the town.
Revenue from McCook Beach sticker sales totaled $96,730 compared to last year's total of $85,365. The town also sold 300 more nonresident day beach passes this year than it did last year.
Spot checks conducted in the parking lots at McCook's and Hole in the Wall Beach also found that most vehicles did have valid stickers, which was particularly good news.
"The biggest complaint we get is people without stickers," said Putnam.
Both McCook Point Park and Hole in the Wall Beach attracted a large number of out-of-towners. In particular, Niantic attracted people from Manchester; Springfield, Mass.; West Hartford; East Hartford; and New Britain (in that order) but tourists came from all over to visit East Lyme.
"We had people from 85 different towns in Connecticut and people from 14 different states," said Putnam.
The only dark cloud this summer was in the lower McCook parking lot. "We had six instances of pocketbooks stolen out of unlocked vehicles," said Putnam. "It's always been a pretty trusting place."
The Parks and Recreation Department responded by posting notices and even handed out flyers warning people to lock their cars. Vehicles parked at Hole in the Wall Beach escaped largely unscathed, probably because that parking lot is monitored by security cameras.
Putnam said he's investigating the possibility of installing security cameras at McCook Point Park and Beach for next summer.
This season ended on a high note, however, with and the third best beach in Connecticut.
"It was a really good summer," said Putnam.
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