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August 28, 2015

Wildwood hopes attractions enough to keep beach access free

While most New Jersey beaches charge visitors for access, Wildwood has long been one that is free to beachgoers.

The city has opened several beach attractions in recent years, in the hopes of postponing the need for beach tags, which some officials see as inevitable

For example, the beach patrol's shuttle service takes visitors from the Boardwalk to their chosen spot anywhere on the 1.3-mile-long beach. The shuttle costs $3 for adults and $1 for children.

"We’re still trying to attract more entertainment, more concerts," Commissioner Pete Byron told the Press of Atlantic City. "We’re really pleased with the way the beach-taxi turned out."

Byron said beach concessions raised about $225,000 for Wildwood in 2014. There are also plans for more attractions, such as passes to ride off-road vehicles on the beach.

Aside from Wildwood, other free ocean beaches in South Jersey include Atlantic City and Strathmere in Upper Township. Fees vary among other municipalities.

Byron said officials will revisit the topic of beach tags during the offseason.

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