Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by beachbarnacle, Jul 6, 2017.
A true local speaking here.
If its the location I think it is I believe a vendor in that area with heavy presence is Burke's Beach Service.
I walked from the Bramble Grove walk-over in Seagrove to the Blue Mtn Beach walk-over (by Redfish) and back every day this past week and weekend. The tents are not the real offenders. It is the vendors at Seaside and Watercolor that find it imperative that their (first row of) chairs be as close to the water as possible....so much so that I actually had to walk in the water to get around the umbrellas (it is so ridiculous that I had to comment to one of the set-up guys that they should just put pontoons on their chairs and float them in the water). Worse, the umbrellas are lined up so close to one-another, touching on both sides, such that they create a good multi-thousand foot-long 6' deep umbrella. Yet, they won't allow a tent larger than 6x6?......really?!
At least I got a good laugh though....due to the way the wave action carved the beach up this past week, creating a mini-lake upland of the surf and sand, and giving the umbrella guys a mental challenge. They were obviously up to the task.....they actually put the number 2 line of umbrellas and chairs (for those already rendered the "less than beautiful people" since they can't see the beach due to the 1st line of umbrellas and the heads, towels, and whatnot of their fortunate users) actually in the water! I was wondering how these guys expected these poor folks to put their stuff down when their chairs were literally surrounded by 6 inches of water on all sides for a few feet (until they run into the next customer). I also wondered whether they gave a customer discount to these folks for their piece of Paradise being under water (maybe this is akin to selling Florida swampland as "water frontage" to the unsuspecting tourists!). The best, though, was that fronting the Seaside thousand-foot umbrella there was a small sand outcropping and jutted out from the umbrella line about 6 feet parallel to the water for about 8 feet....there sat two "regular" (not rental) chairs....rendering the Seaside 1st line a lowly second line!!!! I had to laugh. If those chairs were yours, I was the one who put the pink-clothed "baby Barbie" with the crazy hair in your cup-holder (I found her washed ashore somewhere by the park beach frontage)....I'm too old to play with Barbies.
We arrived at the beach today and i do believe i heard angels singing! Fewer chairs and tents and they were spaced out and back from water. Code enforcement drove by several times. The news coverage day before yesterday may have shamed someone into being courteous. I feel the local love already.
You know at last Fall (2016) year end review BCC and TDC said they only received 20 or so complaints. Ha ha ha.,.i personality gave out BCC members email addresses ( requested) over 20 times. So their year end review started with their heads in the sand. They (BCC) see NOTHING WRONG WITH 1,000's of feet of umbrellas.
I'm ok with the crowds and crazy summer time season, but not with the chairs/umbrellas taking over any time of the year. Our county is failing us on managing beach vendors, that much is clear. Other beaches in Florida have managed to control the situation and keep beaches clear of too many vendors and their stuff.
However, as a long time local, I am over the beach in peak season / summer time so I personally am not that effected - I know when to go and where. But I still don't like the current practice of too many vendors ruining the wide open beach experience. Some of the vendors I've watched this summer out on Grayton Beach were very professional, efficient and courteous. But still, the empty chairs were lined up in prime spots and in our way when we arrived for sunset and there is just too much stuff everywhere.
I'm sorry for those locals (and visitors) who are crowded out in the summer. I don't know why we have allowed the situation to escalate so fast and so far. It's almost like there's no one in charge of our little growing beach town. Thankful for the beach control folks (TDC, lifeguards and deputies) - many work hard keeping us safe, patrolling and cleaning up after dark. Vendors are hard workers and providing a service that must be in great demand. Still, there must be a way to keep beaches clear of stuff unless it is in use.
I'm a Grayton Beach goer. But seriously want to explore the many other beach accesses along the coast on 30A and beyond. Surely there are places to discover. Or is that over at Cape San Blas?
Speaking as a fourth generation local, beach propertyowner, full time resident and parent of kids who work for beach chair vendors every summer, who has NEVER rented a beach chair in my life, I can't resist commenting on this thread. First, let me restate I have personally never rented from a vendor. I typically carry a bag, a chair, and a small umbrella when I walk down to the beach. I also choose to live at the less crowded west end of the beach where there are very few vendor setups. However, we have a lot of friends and family who come from other states to stay at our beaches. I try to look at this from their perspective.They save all year to come to Walton county's beaches for one or two weeks, usually coming in huge droves with extended family for a reunion type vacation. Most we know stay at seaside or watercolor or rosemary or other resort areas where there are services, like beach chairs. They go online as soon as they know their dates and reserve their seats. They pay for them in advance, rain or shine. . They are happy to do it because they don't want to bring 14 chairs and umbrellas in their cars or on a plane. It's their vacation and they are willing to spend lots of money to be comfortable and unencumbered. They know in advance exactly where their chairs will be because they choose them in advance. (Just like we do when we buy tickets to a concert or broadway play- the best seats go fast and cost more). Some days they decide to go shopping, or stay in the pool, but they have paid for the seats, and the vendor has no idea whether they are coming down to the beach each day or what time. So YES you see empty seats. should we require the vacationer to stay seated in the chairs at all times?! Despite what some people on this thread seem to think, we NEED these tourists. I lived in this county when San Destin was about the Only place for a teenager to get a job. No outlet malls, no movie theater, no Commons, and a handful of restaurants. (Personally I loved it like that but there's no unringing that bell). The vendors are not these greedy people you like to think they are. They are providing a service that the tourists want! They provide jobs to hundreds of local kids. And to the person above laughing about the chairs in the water.....that's done purposely because in case you haven't noticed there's a Tide that goes out AFTeR the chairs are set up.
Not greedy...haha. They get to set up on million dollar beach front property for free (that cost taxpayers millions) rent chairs and get paid the big bucks to do it and charge ridiculous prices as well. They are also allowed to store their crap on the beaches which interfere with the sea turtle nesting habitats. Spare us the accolades.
You can put lipstick on a pig but its still a pig.
Local kids HaHaHa on our beach two workers are from Wisconsin..one quit last week because of the way he was told to handle situations..against his life principals..
Sunny, I understand why people like rental chairs. However they are renting the chair not the public property it is sitting on and have no right to that property when they are not even on the beach. Nor does the vendor as far as i am concerned. The vendor should set their stuff when they arrive. Their chairs and tents shouldn't block others from walking at waters edge. Thats common courtesy.
Not everyone needs an outlet mall for a teen to work at, and not everybody needs tourists.
The vendor(s) at / near Pompano Joe's has now dug deep troughs at the waterline so that the pooling water from high tide will drain out...
People say these chairs are already paid for and that may or may not be completely true. Some vacation rentals include chair set ups as a part of their package so there are set-ups for people sitting there all week with no intention of being used. I wouldn't have an issue with the chair service if they were set up when the customer arrives and then removed when they leave, but that's not likely ever going to happen.
It is unfair to the tourists and locals to have to compete with empty chairs and professional businessess for a space on our PUBLIC beaches. Vacations should be relaxing and shouldn't require 5am wake-ups to claim a spot on the beach.
In my eyes, a simple fix to much of this issue would be to deny set-ups before 9 or 10am. This would give people plenty of time to "claim their spot" and would mitigate the taking over of 50% of the beach.
Damn the Sea Turtles
Another easy fix! Make laws and enforce a 10-20' set back from wet sand for vendors. i.e. Like PCB
Great post with good points, but many locals who moved here develop a drawbridge mentality once they purchase their piece of paradise.
You have one of us fooled....
God....I love common-sense! Good luck with that catching on.
Per Walton County code, vendors are not supposed to set up closer than 15 feet from the water's edge at regional or neighborhood beach accesses.
It's only going to get worse. At last night's BCC meeting the TDC apologized that the year to date bed tax numbers were only up 11% and summer numbers were only up 7%. That is insane growth, no wonder we are having so many problems.
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