A decision from Menton City Hall to close eight of the commune’s beaches at the end of August has caused an uproar amongst beachgoers and businesses alike.
A mandate from the Mairie de Menton has dictated that the town’s eight public and private beaches will be closed from 31st August for updates and improvements.
The decision has left many scratching their heads and others angry that the town would choose to start works while the high season is still in full swing, risking a loss of income money for businesses that rely on the summer tourist trade to get them through the year.
Space for improvement
Facilities on the town’s beaches are due for a refresh. In general, those who make their livings from them, as well as those who go simply to enjoy them, agree the works are welcome.
Renovations on the roads, lighting, green spaces, infrastructural networks and decks will certainly give the area a boost, modernising the beaches and making them more desirable, in line with the other high-profile destinations along the coast.
It’s the timing of the works, however, that is more questionable. The authorities have said everything must be removed from the beaches by the designated closing date, such as beach loungers, tables, chairs and the like.
“We will have to close before the 31st August deadline to have time to dismantle our furniture and remove everything. These specifications are too imposing, too expensive and not viable,” said Michèle Leoni, the president of the Union of French Riviera Bathing Establishments to France 3 Côte d’Azur.
Furthermore, Leoni estimates she will have to chip in over €700,000 to finance her part of the project.
The other controversial aspect is that whilst the beaches will be closed to all from 31st, the works aren’t due to begin until the second half of September, with a planned start on 18th. Those two extra weeks would have allowed the businesses to finish the end of season rush, though even then, many complain that September is traditionally an excellent month for them.
Many beachgoers are also in agreement, with one telling France 3 Côte d’Azur, “I find it hard to understand why we want to raze everything on this beach. We have to let the beach attendants and restaurateurs work!”
Despite the outcry, it seems to be a done deal, and so far, the Mairie has made little in the way of comment on the decision, leaving everyone involved wondering how this will play out.
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Photo source: Norbert Széplaki, Unsplash