For the city of Rehoboth Beach, Labor Day weekend was a success that has helped ease the pain of a rainy summer.
City Manager Greg Ferrese said the city collected $112,000 in parking revenue between Aug. 30 and Sept. 2. While the majority of the revenue, $92,000, came from quarters, Ferrese said more and more people used the Parkmobile pay-by-phone system this year, with $30,000 in revenue coming from users of the mobile app.
Overall, Ferrese said, the city has had 153,000 hits, or uses, of the Parkmobile system, an increase over the 115,000 hits from last year, when the system was introduced, with two more weekends to go before meters are covered Sept. 16.
Despite the good labor Day weekend, Ferrese said the city is still expected to finish $20,000 short of its $2.8 million budgeted revenue total. However, Ferrese was happy with the revenue figures because he did not expect to come that close with all the rain the city experienced throughout the summer.
With the passing of Labor Day comes the removal of parking permit restrictions for the residential areas, although meters are still in effect until Sept. 16 and no left turns are allowed on Rehoboth Avenue until after Monday, Sept. 30.
Rehoboth Police Chief Keith Banks said it was a fairly uneventful weekend for his department, with most cases involving either lost children or minor alcohol related incidents.
The most notable of the latter happened when Rehoboth police arrested Wilmington oral surgeon James Goodwill III for disorderly conduct and DUI related to an incident at Starbucks Sept. 2.
Banks said Goodwill, 67, was drunk and touching people in the store. He was asked to leave and then returned, before leaving again, getting into his car and attempting to drive away. Rehoboth officers pulled Goodwill over, Banks said, and detected a strong odor of alcohol. He said officers noted Goodwill’s eyes were bloodshot and speech was slurred.
Goodwill was arrested on five charges: DUI, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, abusive language and third-degree criminal trespassing, Banks said.
For businesses, the weekend was a bit hit-or-miss.
Nicola Pizza founder Nick Caggiano said Labor Day weekend was a little slow to start, but picked up with Saturday being the busiest day. He said the weekend could have been better, but rainy forecasts for Sept. 1 and Sept. 2 kept away some of the daytrippers.
For Greene Turtle co-owner Bill Frankis, Labor Day weekend was good, but not earth-shattering. He said with college students and schools going back in late August, the trend has been for less-busy Labor Day weekends over the past three to four years. Overall, he said, the restaurant was right on par, sales-wise with where it was last year. After a rainy and dismal winter and spring, Frankis said business picked up by the second week of June and stayed consistent through Labor Day.
Carol Everhart, President and CEO of the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce said weekend accommodations were close to 100 percent full for the weekend, which would be better than the previous two years.
“It looks like a good one for occupancy,” she said.
Sheila Davolos, rental manager at Jack Lingo Realtor, said overall, rentals were slightly up from last year. She said unlike most businesses, Labor Day weekend is when rentals begin to drop: most weekends Jack Lingo Realtor has 500 check-ins, but over Labor Day weekend had 250. Davolos said the drop is usually due to kids going back to school.