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Beach in a Bag pilot program looks to give Tiny residents some guaranteed fun

Value package includes ‘Tiny Bucks’ to spend at participating merchants, provide boost to local economy
2020-09-17 ap
One of Tiny Township's beaches. Andrew Philips/MidlandToday

Tiny Township is looking to give residents an opportunity to enjoy a guaranteed fund day at the beach.

Beach in a Bag is a pilot initiative designed to provide a boost to the local economy while giving citizens an all-in-one $50 beach package (valued at $80).

“This summer we will be selling opportunities for folks to be able to go to the beach on a one-day basis,” recreation director Bonita Desroches said.

Included in the proposed package is a one-day beach pass for a pre-selected day at a specific beach to a value of $20, with guaranteed parking for that pass. Also included would be 50 ‘Tiny Bucks’ valued at $50 to be used with participating merchants throughout Tiny township, and various beach activities valued at $10 as well.

Desroches added, “This is a great opportunity for those who may not have been successful in purchasing a non-permit pass for the beach.”

The plan now is to begin contacting area merchants who may want to become involved with the project.

“We’re going to be reaching out to them next week. I already know that some will be behind it, one hundred percent,” said Desroches of the package’s value.

“For these businesses, it’s straight money. They don’t have to contribute, they don’t have to reduce any of their sales; it’s a straight purchase. That’s why it’s such a handsome program: economically, these businesses can only gain from it.”

The package is part of a larger Summer in a Box program initiative by the township to generate business for local merchants while providing services and opportunities to Tiny residents. Future events within the box program include Harvest in a Hamper for this fall, as well as a Beach in a Bag and Picnic in a Park in 2022.

Deputy Mayor Steffen Walma expressed enthusiasm at a recent council meeting, noting a report indicates both the beach and hamper programs result in $8,500 for the local economy.

"I’m excited to see the results of the first year,” said Walma, “and I know the numbers for next year are projected at $11,500. I’m hoping the projections are low and that we can go a little further for 2022.”

Beach in a Bag is expected to run from July 20 through September 9, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays due to lighter volume. The five beach locations intended for use are Woodland, Bluewater, Jackson, Balm Beach and Lafontaine.

Details on where to purchase the packages will become available closer to launch date. 

“I’m fairly confident that we’ll have this in play by July,” said Walma.

Information on the Summer in a Box program is available through director of recreation Bonita Desroches by email or at (705) 526-4204, ext. 230. Parks, recreation, and cultural programs can be found on the Tiny township website.