Bronze Age

When weather conditions at the beach force vacationers to stay inside, I’d Rather Be Tanning allows them to still go home with that sun-kissed look.
Coastal Point • RUSLANA LAMBERT: One of the horizontal tanning beds at I'd Rather Be Tanning.Coastal Point • RUSLANA LAMBERT:
One of the horizontal tanning beds at I'd Rather Be Tanning.

The tanning salon on Route 26 in Ocean View opened its doors on Saturday, July 16, with six tanning beds and a boutique filled with shoes and purses.

Debbie Davis and her sister, Carol Flatley, started the business this summer after realizing that not everyone staying in the beach area actually gets the chance to make it outside for some relaxation and sun.

“If you’re working down here or the weather is bad, you may never have time to go to the beach,” said Davis, who worked at Grotto Pizza for three years before opening the salon. “You want to be able to go home and show off your tan.”

The two designed, painted and decorated the interior space themselves, aiming for it to be relaxing and welcoming for those coming to shop in the boutique or work on getting some summer color. They said they want the boutique to compliment the salon and sell items that would not typically be found at larger chain stores, such as those on the boardwalk.

“We’ve really been able to just do our own thing with this,” Flatley said.

Davis said they plan to expand the salon by adding up to three more tanning beds before next year and by increasing their merchandise to fill another room.

Before moving to the area 10 years ago, Flatley had a job with the federal government in Washington, D.C. When Davis came to live with her six years later, Flatley started looking for something she and her sister could do together. She thought of opening a tanning salon after the one she regularly went to in Rehoboth Beach closed.

Although Davis initially proposed using her creative talent open a bakery, she agreed to open a tanning salon after her daughter shared her frustrations about the lack of such places in the immediate area.

“A tanning salon seemed like a perfect idea,” Davis said. “We just thought it would be great to have something closer to where we are instead of going down to Ocean City or all the way to Rehoboth.”

Flatley and Davis got to work on plans for the salon this past spring. But construction delays pushed back the opening. The center where the salon is located will likely hold a grand opening for all new shops in the plaza later this summer, Davis said.

The salon will be open year-round, seven days a week: Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.; Saturdays, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.; and Sundays, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. For more information and pricing, call the salon at (302) 541-0103.