Beach Club or Not to Beach Club: That is the Question

by Brooke Wheaton

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The public normally uses beaches for free. Major vacation spots in the United States, such as Florida, have beaches without the need to pay or put your name on waiting lists to join.  An aspect that makes New Jersey unique is the beach clubs in Sea Bright.  Instead of going to a public beach, individuals pay to go to private beach clubs.  The clubs include pools, lockers, cabanas, and limited access to the public.  Guests are prohibited unless they pay admission and are accompanied with club members.  There are many practical reasons to sign up for beach clubs while there are unnecessary reasons as well.

Limited access is one reason to join a beach club

A sensible motive to join a beach club is because they have pools. Pools are a nice addition because public beach clubs don’t have the luxury of this… the ocean it is.  However, pools are nice to have in case there is too strong a current in the ocean.  There are also no possibilities of sea life such as jellyfish or sharks.

Beach clubs are enjoyable to attend to because of the snack bars.  There is normally a variety in food options, as meals and snack are provided.  The food is quality and not expensive depending on the beach club.  When people are at the beach they do not have to worry about bringing food that will perish or having to find a local food store around.

Nevertheless, belonging to a beach club can be considered a waste of money. Why pay to go to the beach when there are public beaches? A beach is a beach if sand and the ocean are present. The prestigious extras that remain at private beaches are not superfluous to many.  Spending more money for beach clubs takes away money that could go towards other fun summer activities; going to a beach club for free makes more sense.

A beach club in progress

More importantly, beach clubs may seem ridiculous because they divide everyone up. Friends and family cannot all go to the same beach because of the waiting lists. When members want to bring friends, they have to pay for them to get in or the guests have to pay.  No one wants to pay to go to a beach just to be with others, when they already go to a beach. Beach club rules are getting stricter. There are picture id’s, bracelets, and lifeguards along with security who ask individuals if they “snuck” in.

Beach clubs are an atypical concept that the Jersey Shore maintains. There are many reasons why private beaches are successful. Except, many reasons prove that beach clubs are ridiculous and pointless. Maybe people enjoy the additions that go along with the high pricing, such as snack bars and pools. Maybe people think private beaches are a waste of money and there is no point to belong to a beach while going to the one right next door would be free.  There are infinite reasons for beach clubs being positive and negative.

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Pictures from:


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/12/nyregion/12beaches.html

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