The City of Brigantine Beach continues its struggle with new business development, tourism and marketing.
Last year, after 15 years of debating ice cream, Brigantine finally pulled the trigger on letting 3 kids push ice cream carts up and down the beach. Coincidentally, 2013 was the first year in a while that Brigantine didn’t have a council member in the ice cream business.
According to an archived Philadelphia Inquirer story, the ability to purchase ice cream on Brigantine’s beach had been former Councilman Bob Solari’s dream for a decade and a half. But his efforts long went nowhere because businesses in town wanted to sell the stuff themselves.
Last year, ice cream vending rights were offered & split three ways at $30k a piece. The ice cream peddlers wouldn’t get rich off the deal, but most agreed it was an acceptable start. One vendor claimed that he lost money. The City of Brigantine had the opportunity to make $90,000 in vendor fees.
Brigantine beach goers were happily having a cone just like every other Jersey shore town.
But here in Brigantine, we do things different when it comes to summer tourism. For 2014, instead of possibly keeping or lowering the $30k bid, Brigantine decided to charge a minimum of $40,000 to just one bidder…. for much of the front beach, jetty and cove. How many stepped up to bid on this number that some say was designed to kill ice cream on the beach? Who knows. Many wonder why the City may didn’t immediately offer the rights to the highest bidder.
We get the funny feeling that Brigantine City Council might just ditch ice cream on the beach. We’ll soon see as Council should announce a decision soon.
Killing off the popular Ice Cream man on Brigantine Beach would also kill much needed city revenue from vendor fees. City Council ignores popularity of this summertime tradition along the Jersey shore?
No word yet on how City Council deals with food vending by the ‘Water Weenie’ at Brigantine’s cove and lagoon beach.
At the recent June 21 council meeting, an ice cream vendor (from Egg Harbor) asked council to lower the bid threshold for 2014. See video below.
The Brigantine Chamber of Commerce had no comment at press time.