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Governor Carney Helps Delaware Tourism Office, Delaware State Parks Kick Off Beach Season at Delaware Seashore State Park

Date Posted: Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
Categories:  Governor John Carney Office of the Governor The Economy

Tourism, Parks, La Vida Hospitality Group partner on new beach umbrellas, new Big Chill Beach Club

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – Governor John Carney on Tuesday joined the Delaware Tourism Office, Delaware State Parks, and La Vida Hospitality Group to kick off beach season at Delaware Seashore State Park and promote the state’s tourism economy. Delaware’s tourism industry is the state’s fourth largest private employment sector – supporting 42,000 jobs– and contributes more than $3 billion annually to Delaware’s GDP.

The kick off included an unveiling of new beach umbrellas that will be available to rent this summer season. The umbrellas are emblazoned with the Visit Delaware logo and website, as well as the Delaware State Parks’ logo.

In partnership with Delaware State Parks, La Vida Hospitality Group previewed the new Big Chill Beach Club, a full-service restaurant and bar built atop the park’s existing bathhouse. This is one of the largest public-private partnerships and capital investments in state parks history, with an investment of $1 million. The addition to the state park features 360-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean, Indian River Inlet and Indian River Bay from its large rooftop deck. It has a large, beach-themed “umbrella room,” fire pit, game area and more that create a family atmosphere for visitors.

Click here for photos from the event.

“Delaware’s beaches and state parks attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to our state, are key drivers of our $3.1 billion tourism industry and improve the quality of life for all Delawareans,” said Governor Carney. “Through the dedicated and effective work of the Delaware Tourism Office and Delaware State Parks, we continue to position Delaware as a leading vacation destination, and attract even more visitors and growth to our great state.”

“We’ve had so much success with our Endless Discoveries branding since it was introduced in 2015 – including it being ranked one of the top two statewide tourism efforts in the country,” said Linda Parkowski, Delaware Tourism Director. “These umbrellas are a strong addition to the campaign, which also grew with a new travel guide, a new television commercial and new print/online advertising this year.”

“By increasing the park’s visibility and providing new services and conveniences, DNREC’s Delaware State Parks, the Delaware Tourism Office and La Vida Hospitality Group are helping to ensure visitors to the beaches keep returning year after year,” said Department Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Delaware’s state park beaches are world-class. And the partnerships we celebrate today will help beachgoers experience the extraordinary beauty to be discovered at Delaware Seashore State Park.”

“We are so excited to be opening and providing a new layer of fun to the experience of coming to Delaware Seashore State Park,” said Josh Grapski, managing partner at La Vida, which owns other beach area restaurants, including Fork & Flask at Nage and Crooked Hammock Brewery and provides the food for Lefty’s Alleys and Eats. “This unique venue with its incredible views will be a wonderful amenity for the park.”

“These partnerships are a clear example of why our state parks received the 2015/16 National Gold Medal Award for the best managed park system in the country,” said Ray Bivens, Delaware State Parks Director. “They’re providing innovative experiences for our visitors and showing, once again, how DNREC’s Delaware State Parks keeps its eye on the future.”


governor-delaware-seal Visit Governor Carney’s website for more information about the Governor's Action Plan for Delaware.

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