PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh City Beach will open for the season on Thursday, June 30, eight days after the planned opening date.
"That's not too bad considering all the water we had and all the cleanup we had to do," City Recreation Department Director Steve Peters said.
The beach was deluged with water from Lake Champlain that rose to more than 103 feet above sea level — more than 3 feet above flood stage — in late April and into May.
The water still laps against the boardwalk, covering what used to be the beach area in front of the vendor pavilion.
As a result, the swimming area will be moved about 400 feet to the southwest portion of the property to start the season.
There, a larger beach area was actually created when the high water eroded a major section of land overlooking the water, pouring more sand down toward the water.
"Eventually, this will all settle in, and we will clean it up, and we will have a much larger beach in this area," Peters said.
Work crews have been out clearing up much of the debris that washed up on shore during the flooding. The picnic area had to be cleared off, and sandy knolls that formed in the water had to be knocked down and leveled off.
The old beach house will not be opened this year, as much of the lake debris piled up in that area and the water is still very high.
The vendor building will be operated by Smooth Moves, a specialty-drink shop with a location downtown and at College Suites, and by the Kayak Shack, which will be renting kayaks.
Swimming lessons offered by the city and Town of Plattsburgh will begin Monday at 11 a.m. at the beach.
The general public can get in starting at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 30.
The beach will be open daily until 7 p.m., weather permitting, through Labor Day.
City residents can get in free by providing proof of residency in either the form of a driver's license or city utility bill. Town of Plattsburgh residents can get in free but must pick up their beach passes at the Town Hall.
All other beach visitors pay $5 U.S. currency per carload.
Peters said the late start might curtail revenues, especially since the beach will miss this weekend, which is the St. Jean Baptiste holiday weekend in Quebec and usually draws a large crowd.
"But we are hoping to find ways to make that up throughout the summer, and if other beaches are closed, we will be the only game in town, and hopefully more people will come here," Peters said.
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