Easton’s Beach bath house and reserved parking hang-tag program discontinued due to COVID-19

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing health concerns, both the bath house and reserved parking hangtag programs at Easton’s Beach have been discontinued for the 2020 season.

That news was delivered to patrons in an email on Wednesday.

“We are terribly disappointed to have to cancel these wonderful amenities, however as we continue to develop plans for the upcoming season, it is critical that we adjust our operations in order to provide for the safety of both the beachgoers and the community at large,” an email from City of Newport – Easton’s Beach states.

The email states, “At this time, a reopening date for the beach is still unknown as we await guidance from the Governor and State health officials”.

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While some State Parks have reopened across the state, Governor Raimondo recently said during a press briefing that beaches likely won’t open until sometime in Phase II. The earliest Rhode Island might enter Phase II is Saturday, May 23rd, 14 days after the beginning of Phase I. Governor is expected to provide guidance on Phase II in the coming days.

According to the City’s website 2020 season fees for a regular bath house were $250 for a Newport resident and $500 for a non-resident. A senior bath house for those 65+ were $200 for a Newport resident and $400 for a non-resident. A bath house with reserved parking costs $350 for a Newport resident and $700 for a non-resident. For a senior bath house (65_) with parking the cost is $300 for a Newport resident and $600 for a non-resident.

2 adults & up to 4 children under 21 years of age are permitted in each bath house.

Easton’s Beach Bath House patrons who have already paid for the 2020 season may either request a full refund or have their payments applied to the 2021 season, according to the email to patrons. “If you do request a full refund, please know that you will not lose your bathhouse package and will automatically be put back in the renewal campaign next winter,” the email states.

The City of Newport released their proposed FY2021 budget on May 6th. The $96.4 million spending plan, which can be found on the City’s website, represents a roughly 3.5 percent reduction from the current fiscal year with the City anticipating over $3.5 million in lost revenue as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

According to its most recent estimates, the City is projecting General Fund revenue for the upcoming fiscal year to total $96,424,097, with roughly $79.8 million coming from local property and motor vehicle taxes. By comparison, the current fiscal year’s adopted budget, which is due to expire on June 30th, totaled $99,981,982.  The following are among the most significant changes to the proposed FY2021 budget:

  • $1,070,000 decrease in meals and beverage tax revenue
  • $1,030,000 decrease in hotel occupancy tax revenue
  • $460,000 decrease in Easton’s Beach parking revenue
  • $489,807 decrease in parking ticket revenues
  • $300,000 decrease in Special Detail revenue
  • $238,000 decrease in Beach revenue
  • $150,000 decrease in Parking Fund share revenue

What’s Up Newp reached out to the City’s communications manager on Wednesday for more information on the decision to discontinue the bathhouse and reserved parking hang-tag programs. At this time we have not yet received a response.


UPDATE: Following the publication of this story, Tom Shevlin, the City’s communications manager, issued the following press release on behalf of the City;

Easton’s Beach Bathhouse, Reserved Parking Programs Suspended due to COVID-19

Staff expecting scaled back operations at Easton’s Beach for 2020

NEWPORT, R.I. (Thursday, May 14, 2020) – In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing public health concerns, both the bathhouse and reserved parking pass programs at Easton’s Beach have been discontinued for the 2020 season.

We are terribly disappointed to have to cancel these wonderful community amenities, however as we continue to develop our plans for the upcoming season it is critical that we adjust our operations in order to provide for the safety of both our beachgoers and the community at large. At this time, a reopening date for the beach is still unknown as we await guidance from the Governor and State health officials.

Bathhouse patrons who have already prepaid for the 2020 season may either request a full refund or have their payments applied to the 2021 season. If you do request the full refund, please know that you will not lose your bathhouse package and will automatically be put back in the renewal campaign next winter.

More information about the City’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 outbreak can be found on the City’s website at www.CityofNewport.com/COVID19

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