Beach Parking Fees in Southern Maine Reaching New Levels of Absurdity
As the world continues to grapple with inflation, Maine is a market that is filled with supply and demand. The increased costs on everything from gasoline to food to lodging hasn't seemed to deter people from traveling to Maine during the summer months.
Southern Maine is littered with incredible beaches that ocean-starved tourists can't wait to visit. But given how murky the summer weather has been in 2023, native Mainers have become starved for beach time as well. And when they've arrived to visit places like Higgins Beach and Pine Point in Scarborough, locals have been shocked by the price to park.
Shared on Reddit by ejoburke90, parking fees during July and August have doubled for many of southern Maine's most popular beaches. For many in the state, a $15 fee to park for a few hours feels high. Now, they're faced with a $30 plus fee for the same parking spot, which feels absurd.
Unfortunately, this isn't anything new. Last year, both locals and tourists alike were stunned at the price for all-day parking in Old Orchard Beach. Shared on Facebook by Jessica Laskey, several lots close to the beach were charging upwards of $40 to park on Saturday and Sunday. Less than five years ago, those lots offered all-day parking for $25 or less.
The price of parking in Old Orchard Beach, Scarborough, and other beachfront communities continues to be a point of contention. Many who call the surrounding areas home feel like they're being priced out visiting their own beaches. Commenters in the Reddit post suggested that the state should consider a "locals" discount for native Mainers at state park beaches.
Private lots remain a different story. Similar to Maine's housing market, it remains a supply and demand issue. As long as there's enough people willing to pay $30-$40 to park near a popular beach, those prices are more likely to stick around.