Guest commentary: Come enjoy Clam Pass Park and Collier resident discount

Everyone loves a good deal. The trouble is, some good deals are not that easy to find, even when they are offered at a public park.

I am referring to rental discounts available to Collier County residents who visit Clam Pass Park.

Several years back, when new owners took over the Registry Resort and renamed it Naples Grande, a list of beach-concession discounts were negotiated for county residents. Although Clam Pass Park is a public facility, the hotel has a long history of operating the park’s beach concessions. The discounts cover the rental of lounges, umbrellas, boogie boards, kayaks, Hobie Cat sailboats and more. The discounts can range from 20 to 64 percent off the quoted rate.

However, discounts can only be claimed by persons who can prove county residency, most likely through the presentation of a driver license.

Unfortunately, very few Collier County residents know about the discounts. In fact, since they were instituted, only a handful of residents have taken advantage of them.

One of the problems is the discounts are not posted at the park. That might make you wonder: Why offer the discounts if hardly anyone knows about them? Good point.

But keep in mind, Naples Grande is a premiere resort, offering first-class facilities mostly to out-of-towners. Therefore, concession rental pricing is geared more towards resort guests than Collier County residents.

However, the park is still a public facility, owned and supported by Collier County taxpayers — hence the discount.

Therefore, I encourage Collier County residents to take advantage of the discounts, especially the kayak rentals, where the savings are the greatest.

Adjacent to Clam Pass Park is the estuary of Clam Bay. Clam Bay is a wonderful meandering waterway and nature preserve that can take more than two hours to explore. In the past 12 years — I am guessing — I have kayaked Clam Bay nearly 100 times; yet I am never bored from the experience.

I encourage you to do the same. Either take your own kayak, which can be launched just beyond the western end of the park’s parking lot, or rent a kayak from the beach concession. If you are a county resident, be sure and ask for the discount.

Meanwhile, in the future, hopefully a better way of disseminating news of the discounts for kayaks, lounges and Hobie Cats can be found, rather than via this guest commentary.

Finlay has been a resident of Naples for 13 years. He is a member of the Community Services Advisory Board and the Moorings Bay Citizens Advisory Committee. He enjoys kayaking, rowing and cycling.

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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