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More readers against town's cabana ban

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

To the editor: I have just returned from my vacation to Ocean Isle Beach. We have owned a house there for 16 years and rent it during the summer season.

I was extremely disappointed at the shortsightedness of the “cabana ban.”

When my children were small, having a cabana on the beach was essential. When I was taking chemotherapy, it was even more so. And for our fair-haired friends or the elderly, adequate shade is required for their enjoyment of the beach.

Mr. Godwin, in his comment in the June 26 issue of the Beacon, implies that “tourist” is a dirty word and that the tourists are ruining his enjoyment of “his” beach.

It seems to me the tourist economy is the mainstay of the Ocean Isle Beach economy. What would the property values be if there weren’t tourists? What would the tax revenues be without the tourist?

How many restaurants could afford to remain open if the tourists are made to feel unwelcome? What will happen to Mr. Godwin’s town if the tourists aren’t there to support it? The town Web site notes that there are 426 full-time residents and approximately 25,000 visitors.

Surely, draconian measures are not required. I can understand the need to have the beach safe for those walking after dark. A simple ban on leaving anything on the beach overnight would suffice.

Those who feel a cabana is necessary could have them; those who find an umbrella sufficient could make that choice.

If the police can minimize their patrols for “cabana violations,” presumably it would cost less. One sweep at dusk would be all that was necessary to pick up anything left behind.

Further consider the “tourist” who couldn’t have a cabana this summer. Are they likely to return? Why should they, when other beaches welcome their visit and Ocean Isle Beach doesn’t?

Can Ocean Isle Beach afford to alienate its customers?

It might be time for the rental property owners to band together and support candidates for the town council who are “tourist” friendly.

It must be in every resident’s best interest to have the Ocean Isle Beach tourist economy as strong as possible, especially in these difficult economic times.

Repealing the cabana ban would be an important first step.