State Recreation Board approves fee schedule for Deauville Beach

A proposed fee schedule for Deauville Beach in Rehoboth Beach heads to the desk of Shawn Garvin, secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, following the schedule’s unanimous approval by the Parks and Recreation Council on May 2.

Deauville Beach will be operated by DNREC this summer for the first time in 50 years. A lease between DNREC and the city of Rehoboth Beach for the 21.56-acre property expired in June 2023. The lease had been extended a number of times over the years; however, this time no agreement could be reached.

In February, DNREC announced it would take operational control of the land, which includes 1,800 feet of beach, a 170-space parking lot and tennis and pickleball courts. She presented a fee proposal during an information session at the end of March.

At the time, Delaware State Parks section administrator Greg Abbott said it would cost $170,000 annually, with a one-time $50,000 startup fee, to operate the beach area. He suggested a price of $15 per day for a weekday, $20 per day for a weekend day and $115 for a non-transferable season pass valid only at Deauville Beach. In addition, a $25 discount is proposed for annual permit, lifetime permit and surf fishing permit holders.

At the council meeting, Abbott said the goal is to be revenue neutral, and about 500 annual permits are needed to achieve that goal. Next year, he said, the annual passes will be sold starting in November, along with the rest of the state park passes.

Abbott said when the passes go on sale, they can be purchased at Deauville Beach, Cape Henlopen State Park, Indian River Life-Saving Station and online.

Shauna McVey, spokesperson for DNREC, said Garvin is expected to respond quickly to the recommendations to ensure fees for Deauville Beach are set and implemented before Memorial Day weekend. DNREC wants to start selling Deauville Beach annual tickets as soon as possible to reduce demand for Memorial Day weekend, she said.