The off-season in Gulf Shores. Hardly a soul on the beaches and a perfect time to get things in order for the tourists season that’s just a couple of months away.
“Our season is March through October,” says Jason Holt with Suncoast Beach Services.
This season those large, wooden beach lounge chairs will start to become a thing of the past.
“Our proposal is to phase that out over seven years,” says Gulf Shores spokesman Grant Brown.
It’s the next part of the “Leave Only Footprints” ordinance that doesn’t allow beach gear to be left on the sand overnight. Up until now, hundreds of large, wooden beach loungers did stay overnight and for months at a time. “Our plan is a 14 percent reduction each year,” says Brown.
For the half a dozen companies make their living on the beaches this will change the way they do business.
“We all know it’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of it being an easy transition for us,” says Holt.
Over the next seven years, the wooden loungers will be replaced with to a more manageable, removable chair.
“They are utilized significantly in the Destin-Fort Walton Beach areas. So, it’s not something that is foreign. It’s not something that is unknown to the guests. So it’s just a matter of re-gearing and changing things over the next few years,” says Holt.
Next season the type of chair you rent may look different but the view will still be the same.
A similar proposal is being considered by the city of Orange Beach. A Gulf Shores vote on the seven-year phase-out plan will happen next week.