Rehoboth’s dock project and sustainability

March 20, 2020

Why would a New York City-based investment firm want to buy the Bellmoor Inn in Rehoboth Beach? The answer is simple: The firm’s managers see the Bellmoor as a high-quality property that will maintain its value and generate a decent return on investor money. 

A big part of that confidence, of course, is the Bellmoor’s location in the heart of Rehoboth Beach.

The city continues to invest in its infrastructure, guaranteeing that its unique mid-Atlantic location will remain increasingly attractive for residents and visitors. 

The mayor and commissioners’ recent vote to join in the partnership planning to build the kayak, canoe and paddleboard dock and park along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal is an encouraging example. The elected officials acted responsibly. The Rehoboth Beach budget – second only in Sussex to the county budget – appears to be in solid shape.

The dock, in a highly protected area, will benefit thousands over the course of the three warmer seasons. It will bring more business to downtown Rehoboth Beach and more visitors to the adjacent Rehoboth Beach Museum. And it’s a great partnership.

More than $1 million of this capital improvement will be funded through contributions from businesses, foundations, individuals and state sources. It’s another classic Delaware partnership contributing to improving quality of life, the economy, property values and multigenerational recreation in Sussex.

It’s vital to begin thinking about an endowment for upkeep and maintenance of the dock. It would be reasonable to charge a small fee to park canoes, kayaks or paddleboards through a metering system that could also include locks to protect the vessels while their owners are grabbing lunch or a drink, or walking around Rehoboth. Such a system could bring in a few thousand dollars a year to help offset maintenance costs. If the city were to earmark, for that endowment, an amount equivalent to what they approved recently, interest would generate enough – along with other suggested proceeds – to cover those costs.  

Sustainability is critical to help ensure that the new canalside dock will remain an asset and not a liability.


  • Editorials are considered by the editorial board and written by Dennis Forney, Publisher Emeritus, with occasional contributions from other board members: Trish Vernon, CoPublisher and Editor; Dave Frederick, Sports Editor Emeritus; Jen Ellingsworth, Associate Editor; Nick Roth, Sports Editor; and Chris Rausch, CoPublisher and General Manager.

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