Three proposals submitted to run Wildwood beach bar

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Wildwood: Contract could be awarded by the end of the month

WILDWOOD—Three proposals were submitted to operate a bar on Wildwood’s beach Jan. 29, and city officials say they may be able to grant a contract by the end of February.

That’s a drastic improvement over the last time the city requested proposals for the bar, when only one proposal was submitted, and it was late.

“You’re always hoping for more,” Commissioner Pete Byron said Thursday. “But considering the first go around, I think it’s three times better.”

He added that officials were happy with the number of proposals, which he said proved there was interest in opening a bar on the beach.

Now, city solicitor Mary D’Arcy Bittner and administrator Chris Fox will review the proposals and submit a report to the Board of Commissioners with their recommendation.

The city is hoping that report will be complete by the meeting on Feb. 12.

After the city approves a proposal, the bidder will then need to apply to the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control board for a license to operate the bar.

That process, Byron said, can take between 60 and 90 days. The ideal is to have the bar up and running by Memorial Day, depending on how long it takes a licensee to get approval from the state.

City officials have said that Wildwood is hoping to bring a beach bar that is similar to one found at a resort or beach club, and officials will be paying close attention to a bar’s potential security plan. Aspects such as how well-lit the establishment will be, as well as how they will provide security will be scrutinized.

Byron has said that Wildwood is also hoping to model their beach bar off those found on Atlantic City’s beaches, with a tropical, island feel.

When approving a proposal, Byron said that someone with experience operating a beach bar and working with the ABC will be an ideal candidate.

“One of the influencing factors would be someone who has a track record,” he said. “We need to have confidence that whoever we award this to is going to be very successful.”

As of Thursday, Jan. 30, Byron said it was too soon to tell about how much revenue the city could see from the new beach bar. But it’s one of several projects the city has advertised bids for in recent months.

Proposals to operate some sort of food vending service on Wildwood’s south-end beaches are also due by the end of February.

All of the projects are designed to make the beach more inviting to visitors, as well as bring in extra, non-tax revenue to the city’s budget, Byron said.

“The more opportunities we can do, the more it goes to the bottom line of the city’s tax payers,” Byron said.

The next meeting of the Board of Commissioners is 5:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at City Hall, 4400 New Jersey Ave.

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