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By Ashley Withers

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (StarNewsOnline.com) — Despite already having the highest rate around, the Wrightsville Beach Board of Alderman is considering another increase in parking fees.

Alderwoman Elizabeth King first proposed the increase at the town’s annual parking workshop Jan. 17.

"I am just concerned that we won’t have enough money for beach renourishment if we don’t get the funding from somewhere other than the federal government," she said.

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Comment on this Story

  • Guest CommonTater

    to not support WB and not care…. I haven’t been in 10 years and see no reason to start now.

  • local

    Just make it a toll bridge, then we all can help pay, oh I forgot
    WB people want everyone to pay for everything but them.

  • SouthEastNC

    how’s this any different from a hotel tax?

    haters gonna hate

  • Guest6979

    Why do they need to do a nourishment? To save the structures built on a barrier island. It is the nature of these islands to move and change over time. These islands will not go away any time too soon, what is in danger of disappearing is the homes built there and that is what the town wantes us to pay to save. These property owers built and bought with little to no knowledge of what happens in these environments and now are complaining that mother nature is whipping their tails. The beach is not going anywhere, it will always be there. I live in central Wilmington and have not paid to park at WB in years and I go there with my kids in the summer almost everyday. We ride bikes or go before the meters are in effect or after. If all of us locals decided to do this the town would lose a vast majority of thier meter money. It is not the out of town tourists that pay to park, they are staying in rental homes and hotels that have free parking for guests, it is the local day trippers that foot the bill. Town residents get a break on the fee for the yearly pass, however county residents do not. Am I mistaken but dosen’t some of my county tax dollars go to them for services. If so then shouldn’t I be entitled to the same discount as town residents for the parking pass?

  • D P

    “Doesn’t some of my county tax dollars go to them for services”. No! None of the real estate taxes that off beach residents of new hanover county or wilmington residents pay is returned to wrightsville beach. Wrightsville beach property owners pay an exorbitant amount of taxes on their property compared to wilmington and other NH co residents. 3-4 times as much. They receive very little from NH co in return. Truth is, the beach towns probably subsidize and enable a lower tax rate for wilmington and other NH co residents. Parking rates would be cheap if they were twice as high.

  • SouthEastNC

    With the cost of gas and the time it takes to drive to CB, KB, Brunswick County, or Topsail – I doubt WB will lose too many visitors over a parking rate increase. People who leave equidistant to CB or other Beaches though will probably be likely to go elsewhere.

  • captsundrop

    Keep raising the rates and you will lose more then you will gain. All the other beaches in the area are just as nice. People dont have to go to Wrightsville.

  • ChefnSurf

    Wrightsville Beach raises rates even as they brag about such amenities as “beach ambassadors” and license plate/background checking systems (gotta keep out those terrorists).

    Carolina Beach keeps squeezing more revenue out of Freeman Park (someday they’ll squeeze too hard and actually kill the golden goose) even as they discuss building a giant community pool (did I mention that the beach with a very, very large ocean is right around the corner?).

    Oak Island (not known for efficient spending of its revenues) is now talking about parking fees to bring in additional revenues. Never mind that that’ll probably cut back on visitor’s spending money there (which will probably mean compensating by raising the parking fees for additional revenues from the parking fees they instituted to increase revenues).

    Apparently, some of our local “leaders” (don’t even get me started on our state and federal “leaders”) have completely deluded themselves into thinking that the party will never end.

    I disagree.

  • Vog46

    So long as the money goes to be renourishment as they state. Since the county has the lead on the funds for sand pumping I would suggest CB, WB, and KB in conjunction with the County Commissioners designate a funding account so that monies gong into the fund annually cannot come out for anything but pumping.
    No sand = no tourists
    High parking fees = possibly less tourists

    They DO see the need for taking care of the beaches.


  • ChefnSurf

    Hmm …. Could be that that’s not quite where their focus is.

    This is a town than scans your license plate and runs a background check on you just for the privilege of visiting and spending your money there.

    Doesn’t sound like they’re too interested in what they perceive as the “common folk”.

  • GuestBeach Bum

    It would seem that those who have been elected want to basically close the beach altogether! How much higher can they go with the fees when the economy is slower than a turtle on a hot road.
    They need to seriously rethink this issue and go up on other fees to allow the common folk to keep coming to the beach.
    Myrtle Beach is beginning to look better in the future

  • SouthEastNC

    when I said “beach-going day-trippers”, I wasn’t speaking down on anyone or anything.

  • Vog46

    Given the recent headlines of “Mayfaire ready to expand again” and “Mayfaire is the new down town Wilmington”…

    If I’m on WB beach knowing what the original down town Wilmington is like – I’d raise the draw bridge and never let it down!!!!!!!

    They don’t want that down town riff-raff on the island – urine, vomit, salt water and beach sand combined? yewwwwwwwwww.


  • SouthEastNC

    Not a contradiction at all. The vast majority of folks who come here for the day leave at the end of the day to head back home off of the beach. The most common beach visitor comes with a small cooler with some drinks and maybe a snack that were purchased off the island. Nothing wrong with that.

    But the notion the poster had that we don’t want people to stay here and patronize our WB businesses after the sun goes down was incorrect.

  • ChefnSurf

    Maybe it’s just me, but saying “Most beach-going day-trippers only spend money on parking” seems to contradict with your later post of:

    “Please stay for dinner at one of the restaurants, drinks at one of the bars, and get some breakfast tomorrow when you come back for your car.
    Heck, we’re even going to have a Joe’s Crab Shack soon for the tired masses.”

    You are, however, totally “Wright” when you take the time to point out that: “WB isn’t a commercialized beach with putt-putt courses and a Wings on every corner”. That would be the type of place where (and this brings the discussion back around to my original premise) the “common folk” should go.

  • ChefnSurf

    I have no problem with WB residents raising the draw bridge if they want to. They can even do it symbolically by providing fewer parking spots and raising parking fees, both of which restrict access. I do have some problem with WB doing that and continuing to tap into NHC funding on an equal opportunity basis. That just doesn’t feel like a balanced equation.

    My real problem with WB is with the license plate scanning / background checking system the town has chosen to install (something neither you nor SouthEastNC have chosen to really address). Even though I personally have no legal problems of any kind, I still find that sort of thing to be far too personally intrusive. It’s the sort of thing that totalitarian countries employ to control their population. To me, without a darn good reason to use something like that, it feels like the antithesis of how we define life in a free country like America. It’s gratuitous invasion of our personal space. It personally offends me to the point where I’ll occasionally even post about it.

    Since its inception I have not visited, nor will visit WB on either a personal or professional basis. Does that hurt WB? Nope. Regardless, I’m a guy who practices what I preach and will continue to feel strongly that there’s something intrinsically wrong with WB choosing to implement this sort of system, and by association, something intrinsically wrong with WB residents for finding that sort of thing to be just fine.

    (And oh, by the way SouthEastNC, what you posted was a contradiction. :-)

  • SouthEastNC

    “This is a town than scans your license plate and runs a background check on you just for the privilege of visiting and spending your money there.”

    Most beach-going day-trippers only spend money on parking at WB, bringing their own snacks/refreshments. WB isn’t a commercialized beach with putt-putt courses and a Wings on every corner.

  • Ted in Wilmie

    Typical poitician. Ms. King thinks revenue comes from taxes and fees, when it really comes from money spent in the economy.

    Did she even look at the poll? Does she even understand how much money comes from people spending money at the beach? Can she explain where the enormous amounts of property tax revenue goes?

    Have they done any studies on how many people choose not to return to Wrightsville Beach because of thestupidly high parking fees?

    I’m guessing the answer to all those questions is, “No.”

    95% of people on the poll said they go somewhere else. 95%!! That’s revenue for restaurants, bars, surf shops, etc.

    She’s an ego-blind nut with no financial understanding of how revenue is generated.

    I love WB, but I skirt the parking fees by paying property owners to allow me to park on their property. And I pay them more.

    God bless the socialism movement in this country. It’s like cancer – it kills the host upon which it feeds.

  • guesty

    Swimmers gonna swim

  • SouthEastNC

    We’d love you to stay for a while after dark.

    Please stay for dinner at one of the restaurants, drinks at one of the bars, and get some breakfast tomorrow when you come back for your car.

    Heck, we’re even going to have a Joe’s Crab Shack soon for the tired masses.

  • taxpayer

    comes from parking fees. Given WB’s propensity of being anti-business…soak the folks who make up the “day tripper” group. Just remember…as the sun goes down…it’s time to leave. ‘Cause we don’t want you here after dark…unless you’re staying in one of our over-priced hotels/motels. Feed the meter!

  • Guest Reply

    That will surely take care of the congestion problem with bridge work…as people quit going there and spending all of their lunch money just to park!
    I knew they’d come up with a solution.


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