Issue causes temporary issue for Gloucester Beach parking passes

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GLOUCESTER – The new reservation system for public beaches in Gloucester is leaving some beachgoers confused and frustrated. A glitch in the system on Thursday caused them to oversell tickets but luckily everything was cleared up for Friday.

“They weren’t available this morning and last night but we booked it a few days ago,” Kelly Parish told WBZ-TV.

She’s from Florida where they don’t have to reserve seats on the beaches. And thought it was a strange system.

“I don’t like it. I don’t like it. I feel like it’s weird for such a small area,” she explained.

Last year it was first come, first served, but this year the city has changed to a online booking system. Usually on a hot day like Friday the parking lot was already full. But thanks to the online reservation system, people can show up for their place whenever they want, leaving places seemingly empty. And the city does not resell the places after the departure of people.

“I wouldn’t mind if someone who came later in the day maybe had nothing to do and didn’t care about a beach day later, if they sold it. If I leave, someone else might as well be enjoying the beach,” said Gloucester beach regular Maddi Dube.

But overall, Maddi and her mother Jodie like the new system. They said it was an easy day, where they could sleep before going to the beach.

“Before, if you didn’t get here until 7:00 or 7:30, you wouldn’t come in,” Maddi said. Once, the year before, they drove an hour to the beach and were the last car to enter, at 6:45 a.m.

“Now at least if you get a seat, you’re guaranteed to get in here,” said Julie, Maddi’s mother.

But this has proven to be a problem not only for people who show up without a reservation and see an empty lot that is technically sold out, but also for concession stand operators.

“This year parking has been tough because they’ve changed it, which I believe is best for neighbors, cities and everyone else without the lines,” said Robert Lemos, booth operator. dealership, to WBZ-TC.

The new system has made it harder for businesses because it limits the number of people from out of town who can come to the beach in one day. He said that on July 4, he had only done 25% of what he normally did.

“If that parking lot was full for 5 minutes at 9 a.m., you’d come to the beach and get your cooler, but by noon you’ve already gone through your things, you’ve come to get something,” he explained. .

We tried to get someone from Gloucester Public Works to explain the confusion around the booking system, but no one was available to talk.

For Robert and the beach goers they told us what will clear up the confusion is just consistency and communication.

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