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September 6, 2013     Cape Gazette
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September 6, 2013

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18 FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6- MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2013 N~W~ c~ ~tt~ Labor Day closes out summer season Ryan Mavity " For the city of Rehoboth Beach, Labor Day weekend was a success that has helped ease the pain of a rainy summer. City Manager Greg Ferrese said the city collected $112,000 in parking revenue between Aug. 30 and Sept. 2. While the majority of the revenue, $92,000, came from quarters, Ferrese said more and more people used the Parkmo- bile pay-by-phone system this year, with $30,000 in revenue coming from users of the mobile app. Overall, Ferrese said, the city has had 153,000 hits, or uses, of the Parkmobile system, an increase over the 115,000 hits from last year, when the system was introduced, with two more weekends to go before meters are covered Sept. 16. Despite the good labor Day weekend, Ferrese said the city is still expected to finish $20,000 short of its $2.8 million budgeted revenue total. However, Ferrese was happy with the revenue fig- ures because he did not expect to come that close with all the rain the city experienced throughout the summer. With the passing of Labor Day comes the removal of parking permit restrictions for the resi- dential areas, although meters are still in effect until Sept. 16 and no left turns are allowed on Rehoboth Avenue until after Monday, Sept. 30. Rehoboth Police Chief Keith Banks said it was a fairly unevent- ful weekend for his department, with most cases involving either lost children or minor alcohol- related incidents. The most notable of the lat- ter happened when Rehoboth police arrested Wilmington oral surgeon ]ames Goodwill III for disorderly conduct and DUI re- lated to an incident at Starbucks Sept. 2. Banks said Goodwill, 67, was drunk and touching people in the store. He was asked to leave and then returned, before leaving again, getting into his car and attempting to drive away. Re- hoboth officers pulled Goodwill over, Banks said, and detected a strong odor of alcohol. He said officers noted Goodwill's eyes were bloodshot and his speech was slurred. Goodwill was arrested on five charges: DUI, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, abusive lan- guage and third-degree criminal trespassing, Banks said. For businesses, the weekend was a bit hit-or-miss. Nicola Pizza founder Nick Caggiano said Labor Day week- RON MACARTHUR PHOTO FOR REHOBOTH BEACH, Labor Day weekend was a successful cap on a not-quite-so-successful and rainy summer. While the city took in $112,000 in parking revenue for the four-day weekend, Rehoboth is short of its budgeted goal for the year. end was a little slow to start, Overall, he said, the restaurant previous two years. but picked up with Saturday be- was right on par, sales-wise, with "It looks like a good one for ing the busiest day. He said the where it was last year. After a occupancy," she said. weekend could have been better, rainy and dismal winter and Sheila Davolos,rental manager but rainy forecasts for Sept. 1 and spring, Frankis said business at lack Lingo Realtor, said overall, Sept. 2 kept away some of the picked up by the second Week rentals were slightlyup fromlast day-trippers, of June and stayed consistent year. For Greene Turtle co-owner through Labor Day. She said unlike most busi- Bill Frankis, Labor Day weekend Carol Everhart, president and nesses, Labor Day weekend is was good, but not earth-shatter- CEO of the Rehoboth Beach- when rentals begin to drop: most ing. He said with college students Dewey Beach Chamber of weekends ]ack Lingo Realtor has and schools going back in late Commerce, said weekend ac- 500 check-ins, but over Labor August, the trend has been for commodations were close to Day weekend had 250. Davolos less-busy Labor Day weekends 100 percent full for the weekend, said the drop is usually due to over the past three to four years, which would be better than the kids going back to school. Dewey busi Labor Day sandcastle marks the end of summer. Kara Nuzback kn uzback@capegazette,com Despite a few more rainy days than usual, stakeholders in Dew- ey Beach say summer treated them well. Sharky's Grill owner Rick Shindledecker said he had his best year since 2007. "I saw people this year I haven't seen in five or six years," he said. Shindledecker said he started seeing more construction work- ers coming into the restaurant in Febhaary, and he got an inkling the season would be more profit- able than previous years. This summer he said, cus- tomers told him they had either shortened their getaways the last few years or skipped vacations altogether. "There might have been a lot of pent-up demand," he said. Shindledecker said after talk- ing to customers he does not think the economy has improved, but that people simply needed to have some fun this year. He reflect on peak also said the abundance of rain helped business. "We had some bad weather this year, but it didn't seem to hurt," he said. "If I complain this year it would be out of greed." Bil Joseph, who works at Su Casa on Bellevue Street, said the summer would have been better with less rain. "Every weekend had a rain day," he said. Joseph said business was down slightly from last year, but he also noticed 'many first-time visitors from New Jersey, Maine and Connecticut. "I've seen a lot more families," he said. "We've seen our share of college kids tOO." "We had good summer," ]o- DEWEY BEACH RESIDENT Darrell O'Connor yearly sandcastle on Carolina Street. KARA NUZBACK PHOTO bids farewell to summer with a seph said. The Starboard owner Steve Montgomery said he spoke with visitors from New Jersey over Memorial Day weekend who said they were in Dewey Beach for the first time. "They would tell me, 'We heard it was a great town but had no idea how much fun it truly was,'" he said. Montgomery said business this year was strong, and he saw more children and families in town than ever before. "The rain during May and June surely didn't make the start of the sea- son terrific, but July and August were as good as any," Montgom- ery said. Montgomery also said the re- lationship between businesses and town hall was smoother. From parking issues to si nage to pedestrian and public safety, businesses and town officials are working together - something that has been lacking in recent years, Montgomery said. Town Manager Marc Appel- baum said parking revenues for the summer are up 20 percent from last year. Seasonal parking permits sales were down 3 percent, bringing in $269,000 to last year's $278,000, Appelbanm said. But daffy per- mits more than made up for the loss, with a revenue increase of 51 percent, he said. Parking meters brought in $163,000 compared to last year's $125,000 - a 30 percent increase, Appelbaum said. Countdown to Memorial Day By the afternoon of Sept. 2, most tourists were already fight- ing northbound traffic on Route 1. A few straggling visitors and some year-round residents pep- pered the quiet beach. On Carolina Street, resident Darrell O'Connor spent most of the day building his annual "fare- well to summer" sandcastle - a tradition he said he started about 10 years ago. The castle this year read, "Farewell summer 2013. Two- hundred and sixty-six days 'til Memorial Day." O'Connor said the castle took him about four hours to build. When it was fmished, residents and longtime visitors to Caro- lina Street greeted O'Connor and took photos of his annual masterpiece. The sandcastle suffered a beating in the late afternoon, when a rainstorm passed over- head. Despite the downpour, O'Connor said he and about 20 other beachgoers stuck around for the last lifeguard whistle of summer at 5 p.m.