New Proposal May Rain on Your Beach Day - NBC 6 South Florida

New Proposal May Rain on Your Beach Day

State lawmakers may close down parks to save some dough

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    Close the beach? Bill Baggs wouldn't approve.

    "Beach days" are a dime a dozen here, but when it's your one day off - or your one vacation of the year - it'd be nice if the beach was actually open.

    A proposal to shut down Bill Baggs Park on Key Biscayne, along with 57 other state parks, for two or three days a week is the newest state cost-cutting initiative. Closing the parks on select days, lawmakers say, will help cut a $6.5 billion deficit.

    However, Joan Gill Blank, who wrote a book about the park, which is ranked in the top 20 beaches in the U.S. and features a historical lighthouse from the 1820s, says shutting down Bill Baggs wouldn't be the best business move.

    "This one is in the top ten of the revenue producers in the whole state. It helps revenue to support other parks. It's also an attraction for international tourists."

    Recently, the 25th million visitor came to the park, the restaurants and concessions generate about $2 million yearly and several years ago annual admission revenue was just under $1 million.