Ocean club

Closure of the Paradise Ocean Club in Hampton

The company said in a social media post that it got a 10-year lease negotiation with the National Park Service “terminated without cause.”

HAMPTON, Va. – Paradise Ocean Club in Fort Monroe announced Friday night that it is permanently closing after Labor Day weekend.

The company said in a social media post that it got a 10-year lease negotiation with the National Park Service “terminated without cause.”

On Monday, hundreds of people came out to support the club’s last day.

“It would be a disservice to close this place because families have a place to go instead of going all the way to Norfolk or other places just to find a beach to feel safe,” said Steve Travis, beach lover.

Landlord Baxter Simmons said the National Park Service accepted his offer in the spring for a new 10-year lease. After that, Simmons said he hadn’t heard from them until recently.

“And finally we had a meeting on September 1, five days before the end of our season, saying we’re going to go in a different direction,” Simmons said. “No reason for that, no idea why they canceled it, we had no major issues that we needed to sit down and discuss. So, I have no idea why they decided to snatch it.

In an email, National Park Service Superintendent Eola Dance said her team plans to re-announce the club rental opportunity with plans to reopen Memorial Day weekend.

“The decision will allow NPS to clarify the vision, scale and scope of opportunities at the Ocean Club that are appropriate within a national park setting,” Dance said.

Dance said NPS welcomes an updated proposal from Simmons.

Simmons said the shutdown didn’t just affect him.

“That’s 200 people we employ in the summer, there are suppliers, vendors, musicians who won’t have room to play,” Simmons said.

An online petition to save the club began circulating on Friday afternoon. It has nearly 4,000 signatures online, and Simmons said about 2,000 people have signed in person.

National Park Service officials said the request for proposals to operate the Ocean Club property will be posted on its website in the coming months.

The announcement comes months after a temporary weekend curfew was put in place for the North Beach area on June 11 due to security concerns in the area.

The curfew was lifted just over a month after it came into effect.