Member Access Update
March 13, 2022
Just over 2 months until opening day!
The wind season is right around the corner and we know a few people have already gotten a couple of days in at the new island! The SWS board and our volunteer sub-committees have been working hard to find a solution that would allow the SWS to provide an access solution to our members. Now we'd like some feedback from our members with a survey.
Spit access is an incredibly complicated situation just a few of the factors we are trying to work out are:
- New current and tide patterns
- Drying height of the removed road
- Safe landing surface for the boat to pick up members and gear
- Regulations for operating the new boat(s)
- Regulations for docks or other structures in/near the water
- Type of boat(s) that will allow our members access with the least amount of waiting
- Operating budget
- Cost to purchase the boat(s)
There are even more factors than these but we wanted our members to understand why we haven’t finalized the plan for 2022.
Boat Ferry Service:
After much research and many meetings to look at different options, the SWS board feels that the only way that we will be able to get members to the island this year will be via a boat service.
We are looking at different sized boats, how many boats will be needed, running the service ourselves, as well as contracting the service out to another company.
If we provide a boat ferry service the cost of membership is going to go up. Some of the reasons for this are:
- Increased gas for the new boat(s)
- Increased insurance
- Increased maintenance
At this time we don't have all the numbers finalized to announce the pricing for this year.
We are exploring grant options to help offset the cost of purchasing the boat(s) and other infrastructure however we won’t know if we are successful until later in the year. As such we will need to set up the membership fees to cover all the costs to run the SWS and purchase the things we need to offer a safe and effective way for the members to access the Spit. If we are successful with the grants our plan is to use those funds to offer a credit to members next year that purchased this year.
Last year we had almost 1,000 members the most we have ever had. We know that with it being more complicated to get to the Spit that we won’t have the same number of members this year and we are running different scenarios to help us generate enough revenue while guessing the number of people that will purchase a membership this year. Please fill in the survey to help us understand what works for you.
The SWS board has been exploring many other options for access to the newly created island however at this point none of them are viable for this season. Some of the ideas that we are exploring for a longer-term solution are:
- Cable ferry
- Pedestrian boardwalks
- Helicopter service (just kidding)
What we need from you:
As we are getting close to finalizing a plan for the 2022 operating season we wanted to take this opportunity to get feedback from the members with a short survey.
Every response is useful in helping the board make the final decision on how to provide a great experience for all our members at the Spit this year!
We're looking forward to seeing you on the island, and are working hard to get ready for the start of the season.
The SWS Team