Holden Beach town leaders: Beach will stay open, parking will not


HOLDEN BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The Town of Holden Beach is making some changes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Town leaders met twice Monday to declare a State of Emergency and iron out the details regarding beaches, vacationers, and more. This comes after several other beach towns took similar measures.

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“It is with heavy hearts that we are here,” said Holden Beach Mayor Alan Holden. “None of the commissioners or myself want to be here, but we have to make some tough decisions.”

All beaches in New Hanover County are closed, but Holden isn’t going that far. Beaches will remain open, but parking, restrooms, the fishing pier, and any other public facility will be off limits.

Not everyone is a fan of these temporary rules.

“Really, I think they should just keep it open,” said Kevin Beavers, a frequent visitor to Holden Beach from Supply. “I mean, staying in the house and all this, it’s kind of nonsense to me.”

Short term rentals are also suspended until at least April 4.

“It’s tough. I mean, if you’re renting your house and you use this income, it’s a tough thing to have,” said Matt Arion, who owns a home in Holden Beach. “On the flipside, if people are out of work, there’s going to be an impact on the rentals no matter what, I think.”

Arion lives in Raleigh, and is staying in the quiet town to lower his exposure risk to COVID-19.

“Seems like a good place to go to kind of quarantine yourself and keep yourself safe, compared to Raleigh where everything’s so clustered together,” Arion said.

Mayor Holden says the town is just looking out for its residents. Arion says he supports the town’s decision, and is glad beaches are staying open. He says they don’t see the large crowds New Hanover County beaches do this time of year.

“People don’t like being stuck at home and not being able to go out, especially here where it’s so beautiful and stuff,” Arion said. “But if it’s just for a small amount of time and it’s for everyone’s benefit, I do understand that.”

Mayor Holden says the town will continue to revisit these changes, as the situation is constantly changing. The rules are set to take effect immediately.