Wiltonians like Westport beaches

Wilton residents spent more than $100,000 this year on fees to attend Long Island Sound beaches in neighboring towns.

The most popular destination, by far, was Westport, where Burying Hill Beach and Compo Beach passes cost $490 for the season. Sherwood Island is a state park beach in Westport, Sherwood but how many passes that may have been sold to Wiltonians was not available.

A total of 152 Wilton residents paid the $490 for the Westport emblem, according to the Westport Recreation Department. That alone amounts to $74,480.

Other neighboring towns that attracted Wilton beach lovers were Norwalk, with 62 season passes sold to Wilton residents for $175, and Fairfield, with 26 passes sold at $170 each.

The reason Westport is the top attraction, despite the high price, is simple.

“It’s beautiful,” said Wendy Latham, customer service representative at the Westport Recreation Department. “A lot of people absolutely prefer it.”

Wilton is landlocked, but it does have a public freshwater beach for town residents. It is at the pond at Merwin Meadows, near the town center. The local swimming spot is popular with mothers and their young children.

“For residents, we gave 400 or 500 passes,” said Steve Pierce, Wilton recreation director. Non-residents even bought passes, totaling 50.

There are no waves, but it’s safe for small children.

“It’s basically picnic facilities, a lifeguard, the pond with swimming, a nice little place. I don’t know what our numbers are, but we sold 50 family passes for non-residents, and for residents, we gave out 400 or 500 passes,” Pierce said.

“It’s what the people want.”