Sand beach is a park that draws tourists and revenue says reader

To the Editor – letter shared with Mayor and Council:
Dear Mayor and Saugeen Shores Council Members;
These are different times.
I loved the live music offered at the beach casino and the big bandshell as a youth/teenager/young adult, but those days are gone. Stricter liquor licensing now is the main reason it would never be the same.  The money maker for an owner of a restaurant/bar is often in liquor sales.
The nearest local residents to the Port Elgin beach and harbour are now mostly year-round residents and not “up here on holiday” and not likely to attend a dining/drinking faculty daily or weekly, they attend the beach and harbour daily.
There are many dining and drinking establishments in our community that our residents and visitors attend. There are multiple privately owned business venues for weddings and anniversary parties in Saugeen Shores, as well as the publicly owned venues for these events.
The Port Elgin beach and Harbour-front has always been a family destination and continues to be.  All public and private camping and trailer parks and harbour slips abide by the 11pm quiet time. Those slipping down for a midnight swim at the Lake are best to do it quietly or they are disturbing those who are in their boats or homes. The police respond to the drunks at the beach, but not until AFTER the drunks are fighting or causing a disturbance. Who needs more of this?
This highly valued “open space” is best left just that … a park that it is.  I stand strong in calling the Beach a Park. A sand beach is the best park ever! People looking after Saugeen Shores beaches have to have enough vision and insight to realize that Saugeen Shores tourism is built on the public access to this sand beach and other sand beaches in our community.
A harbour on wide open Lake Huron would not do as well as it does here, were it not for the family access to this beautiful sand beach. Staff looking after an asset like a sand beach, have to be prepared to know it is it’s existence which has been a deciding factor for many residents from moving and staying here instead of Kincardine or Owen Sound or Wiarton or other communities in Southern Ontario.
Many retirement decisions were made by people who rent cottages here in cottage parks or rent motel rooms for their vacations. Staff in charge of a sand beach or tourist camp or harbour have tourists and local residents to accommodate, and the money brought into town by a publicly accessible sand beach is a big part of why they must be prepared to be their busiest in the summer months to deal with the ever changing duties of a busy beach. It’s demanding, but it well than more than pays for itself through revenues, directly and indirectly.
But it does not need to have a 4 season restaurant and shops to draw the people, this will only be at the expense of the very businesses that need that open space beautiful sand beach as the drawing card!
Mrs. Lynn Thede
Port Elgin