Lori M. Nichols | NJ Advance Media for

NJ - Jersey Shore town’s season passes are already sold out, and out-of-towners are not happy

The early sell-out of 5,500 season beach passes in Spring Lake made some suspect the borough might be trying to keep non-residents off of its 2 miles of beach, seen here last March, when the boardwalk was closed to curb the spread of the coronavirus

With none of the arcades, pizzerias or bars that line the boardwalks of other Jersey Shore towns, there’s little incentive for Spring Lake to draw large crowds of summer tourists for the sake of local businesses.

That said, there are plenty of out-of-towners drawn to Spring Lake’s two uninterrupted miles of beach precisely because they need no more than sun, sand and sea for their summer fun.

And it’s some of those folks who aren’t happy that the 5,500 season beach passes allotted by the borough for 2021 arealready sold out, even though word that the $110 season passes had gone on sale in December was limited to a borough newsletter read mainly by residents.

“It seems suspect to me,” said Rachel Juska, 36, of Little Silver, who has been going to the beach in Spring Lake for more than a decade. “The effect of this seems very discriminatory for people who do not live in Spring Lake.”

Borough officials have rejected the concerns, asserting that the reason for the rapid, early sell-out was a reduction in the total number of season passes for sale in light of social distancing requirements intended to combat the coronavirus.

Officials further note that most of the season passes — 52% — were bought by out-of-towners, not residents. And they insist that additional passes may go on sale if coronavirus cases decline as vaccinations increase.

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