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Beach, Golf Revenue Strong as Cape Summer Hits its Stride

Liz Lerner

Members of the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force gave a community update Thursday focused on what’s happening in town government, including efforts to encourage mask-wearing and the outlook for summer recreation income.

Municipal beach and golf revenue has been strong on Cape Cod this season, according to local officials. They said it’s a welcome sign amid worries about the pandemic hurting future tax revenue.

In Sandwich, Selectman Dave Sampson said golf has been exceptional.

“We have literally seen almost record revenue at the golf course — at the Sandwich Hollows golf course — throughout this spring, which has been a very positive outcome from all of this,” he said.

Selectman Chris Flanagan of Dennis said receipts from beaches and golf are on par with where the town was hoping they would be.

Still, towns are forecasting conservatively. Flanagan said Dennis has implemented a spending and hiring freeze out of an abundance of caution.

Meanwhile, on the issue of masks, officials said they are giving the public gentle reminders to wear masks at popular destinations.

Chatham has a $300 fine for noncompliance with its mask order, which covers the downtown, lighthouse overlook and other well-traveled locations from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Even with the fine, Shareen Davis of the Chatham Board of Selectmen said the town is focusing on the public health message and giving warnings.

“We have a sign that says that there is a $300 fine for noncompliance, however we are taking the approach of a three-warning system,” she said. “We are doing more to educate the public and offer masks rather than enforce this mandate.”

Over in Dennis, Selectman Chris Flanagan said beach staff are reminding people to wear masks, and most have complied.

He said businesses are taking the mask issue very seriously.

State Senator Julian Cyr, who represents the Cape and Islands, said new COVID-19 cases in Harwich and Provincetown among restaurant and hospitality workers have him concerned.

Cape Cod is not yet past the point at which it could see an uptick in cases from the July 4th holiday, he said.

“I’m personally specifically concerned about indoor dining,” he said. “I think that may be something that we need to reevaluate here if we see this trend continue.”

Cyr said state legislators are working to ensure that Cape Cod continues to have enough testing capacity by funding it in the supplemental state budget.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.