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NYC's Beach Attendance Jumped as Much as 140 Percent This Summer, City Says

By Katie Honan | September 8, 2014 2:36pm
 One of the many visitors to Staten Island beaches this summer, which saw a jump in estimated attendance.
One of the many visitors to Staten Island beaches this summer, which saw a jump in estimated attendance.
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DNAinfo.com/Stephanie Keith

ROCKAWAY BEACH — Beach attendance across the city was up this summer despite cooler temperatures and continued construction from Hurricane Sandy recovery, according to Parks Department statistics.

Staten Island's coast saw a 140 percent jump from last year, with more than 466,000 sunbathers estimated to have caught some rays at South and Midland beaches.

Not far behind was Orchard Beach in The Bronx, which saw more than 1.7 million visitors — up 90 percent from 2013's numbers.

At Rockaway Beach, not even closures due to a multi-million dollar sand replenishment project could stop swimmers from visiting.

The city's largest beach hosted more than 4 million visitors this summer, which is 25 percent more than last year.

That's still a far cry far from the estimated 7.8 million visitors who flocked to the Queens beach in 2012, before Hurricane Sandy devastated much of the shore.

The smallest increase came at Brooklyn's beaches, including Coney Island which saw a 13 percent increase to 11.5 million.

In 2012, the method of estimating attendance was changed. Workers changed the times of day that they surveyed the beaches.

The next year, the parks department returned to the times they'd used in previous years, which is the system they used in 2014.

It was not clear why the counting methodology changed.

“NYC Parks in the summer have something to offer everyone — some flock to the oceanfront for the waves, sand and sun, while others go poolside to hone their swimming skills," said Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP.

The mercury has hit 90 on only a couple of occasions this summer and the average temperature on the weekends was in the 80s.