BELMAR, NJ — It’s going to cost a pretty penny to rent out the Taylor Pavilion in Belmar to enjoy its priceless ocean views.
By scrapping hourly rental rates for in- and off-season flat rates at the municipal-owned beachfront venue, it will cost nonresidents between $1,500 and $3,000 to hold an event there, compared to the current $240 cost that was based on a six-hour event at $40 per hour. The new pricing structure sets higher pricing for events held on Saturdays, as well as on Fridays or Saturdays, during the prime season of April through October.
There will also be a $1,000 application fee — compared to the current $100 cost — and another $2,000 deposit will be paid by the approved vendor hired for the event.
Year-round Belmar residents will be able to rent the pavilion at one-half those costs and will not be charged an application fee. In addition, the borough will consider waiving fees for nonprofit groups or charitable organizations on case-by-case basis.
For off-hour events held between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on any given day, a $500 per-hour fee has been established.
The new pricing structure was recently approved by the Belmar Council after borough officials discovered during the budget-preparation process that the fees were far below pricing at comparable facilities at the Jersey Shore, particularly private banquet facilities and restaurants.
“By the time we paid the utilities (at the pavilion), the borough was making no money on these events,” Mayor Mark Walsifer said. “We had to do something.”
Since the rebuilt Taylor Pavilion at 500 Ocean Avenue opened in May 2017, it has become a popular venue, particularly for weddings catered by “preferred vendor” Merri-Makers Caterers, which also operates the seasonal Cruz Bay Café, located on the north end of the building.
Under the new regulations, individuals or organizations renting the Taylor Pavilion are required to have all food and beverages provided through a “sanctioned” New Jersey caterer — regardless of the size or type of event. The borough is in the process of compiling an approved vendors list that will include Belmar restaurants, as well as Edison-based Merri-Makers.
In another cost-cutting move, the borough now prohibits bonfires on the beach — a popular amenity that had been offered as part of the Taylor Pavilion’s wedding/event package. However, police and clean-up costs required for a bonfire did not make it worth continuing, according to borough officials.
Earlier this year, the borough also began charging a $150 fee and requiring a $200 security deposit for use of Huisman Gazebo. The structure on the banks of Silver Lake required a major facelift after it was left in a state of disrepair at the end of last summer.
TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is the official electronic newspaper of both municipalities. As a locally owned news organization, TAPinto through its advertisers is able to publish online, objective news 24/7 at no charge. Sign up for its free daily e-News, and follow it on Facebook and Twitter.