BURRILLVILLE – Plans to install a volleyball court and renovate parking at Spring Lake have been delayed by this year’s heavy rainfall, but the fun will go on nonetheless this weekend, when the beach officially opens for the summer.
The town-run facility includes access to an arcade, concessions and a growing list of amenities, from paddle boards and ping pong, to water slides and an inflatable bounce house.
And thanks to profits from last year’s summer crowds, beach management hopes to expand that list to include a permanent beach sand volleyball court. Spring Lake sold 700 family passes last summer and brought in $41,000 in profits.
But when beach gates open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 1, the courts won’t be ready for patrons to practice their serves just yet.
“Because of the rain, the water level is too high,” said Beach Manager Judy Lopez. “We are so wet. We need some hot sun so we can put equipment down.”
Lopez said parking improvements have also been delayed by the weather, and muddy grounds have made it difficult for beach staff to install water slides.
As for when the new court will be in place, Lopez said, “As of right now, I don’t know. The rain set us back. You can’t work.”
Changes successfully implemented in 2019 include an update to the beach pass system, thanks to installation of $1,000 electronic software. The system will include pictures of every family member covered by the $30 pass, replacing the old physical beach passes.
“It’s up and running,” said Lopez of the upgrade, paid for through profits at the self-sustaining facility.
The number of family members that can be covered by a pass will also change. Family passes will cover a maximum of five people, reduced from seven in 2018, with a discounted fee of $10 each to include up to three additional family members.
“They have to live in the household,” said Lopez.
Passes for individuals not covered under a family pass cost $20.
Lopez, who took over in beach management in 2015, is widely credited with increased attendance and profits, thanks to updated rules that made the beach more family-friendly, and strong fiscal management.
The beach opened for three days last weekend but starting June 1, it will be open daily for the season, weather permitting, through September 1.
Other recent changes at Spring Lake include the launch of a museum chronicling beach history, which opened last year, and an edit to the town ordinance that will allow those who rent the beach’s private facility, Champlin Hall to apply for a liquor license.
Lopez said the beach is still looking for more certified lifeguards. Those interested should apply at Town Hall.