While we were on the air finding out if everybody was getting ready for a gorgeous beach weekend on Friday, Kal G. was standing and looking at the Spring Lake Beach, completely puzzled. There, he noticed beach-goers social distancing to the max. It looked like people were sitting 20 feet apart on a picture perfect beach day with maybe only 30 people total on the beach.

Excited for a perfect Jersey shore day on the sand and surf, he approached the badge taker only to be told that beach badges were already sold out at 10:30 in the morning.

He emailed me to tell me his story and I have to tell you that I, too, was puzzled. He attached photos of the wide open spaces on the beach and seemed perplexed as to why he was not allowed entry. For those of you who have never been to Spring Lake, let me give you an idea of what it’s like. Sometimes dubbed the “Irish Riviera," Spring Lake is a magnificent town that runs at least partially along the Jersey shore.

Listener submitted photo, credit: Kal Ganesan
Listener submitted photo

The beautiful Victorians and sea shore colonials along Ocean Avenue, the beachfront main drag, are stunning mansions worth millions of dollars. And spring lake has been known to be … how do I say this? Snobby? I’m not accusing them of anything. I know many people who live in Spring Lake and they’re all lovely. But I also know people who have visited the town and felt like they did not fit in because they belong to a lower “echelon.”

There are only a few reasons I can think of that this may have happened on Spring Lake beach. And perhaps this was the case with other beaches over the weekend as well. Might Spring Lake beach have a lower capacity then its neighbor to the south, Belmar? Maybe Spring Lake only allows season beach badge holders on the beach? Perhaps there was a long line at 5 a.m. Friday for badges that Kal missed out on somehow?

It just made no sense. The beach was virtually empty. Could they have pre-sold the thousands of passes it would’ve taken to fill up that beach (even to its COVID-19 reduced capacity)? Something seemed really fishy, especially after looking at the photos of the Spring Lake beach and then neighboring Belmar (which seemed to be suitably crowded yet not packed to the point where they were breaking any rules). Does Spring Lake have its own COVID-19 beach code? Or is it possible, as is often in the case with some of the hoity-toity towns along the Jersey shore, that they just yearned to pick and choose who they wanted on their beach?

For comparison, here's what Belmar looked like:

Listener submitted photo, credit Kal Ganesan
Listener submitted photo, credit Kal Ganesan

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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