Beach concessions a local tradition

We’ve received a number of letters and a multitude of phone calls this week about the proposal for the Town of Bethany Beach to end its practice of bidding out beach equipment rental concessions and take over the business for itself.

Such a move would take a big chunk out of the small family business of Steen’s Beach Service, which has been renting beach umbrellas, chairs and more to beachgoers for more than a half-century and has had the Bethany concessions contract for many years.

We understand that the Town has to be proactive in finding revenue to support repair of potentially catastrophic future storm damage, but we’d hate to see that happen at the cost of losing one of the remaining longstanding traditions of this Quiet Resort.

Many local kids have worked for Steen’s for decades, and many more have rented from them. We expect to see them each summer.

Over the years, we’ve lost our ice cream trucks, the farmers selling produce from their pickups and firehall bingo, to name a few lost local traditions. It would be a sad Memorial Day weekend that welcomed the summer season with no Steen’s umbrellas on our beach.