CAROLINA BEACH — Good news for purchasers of “early bird” Freeman Park passes, the Town of Carolina Beach has opted to lower the cost of the passes from $150 to $100 but those hoping to score the deal only have a few weeks to do it.
Starting Dec. 1 and running through Dec. 15, park visitors wanting to get a jump start on the 2019 Freeman Park pass can get the decal for the discounted rate, a $50 decrease in price from the current early bird special price at $100.
“Right now our annual permit is $200, and then the early bird special is $150 … that is an increase double from last year,” Town Manager Ed Parvin said during a Town Council workshop.
The town leaders faced some criticism when they initially raised the prices of Freeman Park passes and the cost has been a topic of discussion for some time.
According to Councilman Steve Shuttleworth, there have been questions as to why the town did not offer a “locals only” discounted rate to those who live on the island, but offering that is not possible.
The property and the beach itself is in the public trust meaning it belongs to the public, therefore restricting rates to locals is not legally allowed. But that doesn’t mean everyone is going to be able to snag a discounted pass. Early bird passes are only available for purchase in person within the two-week time frame.
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