An Improved Vermilion Main Street Beach

A New Vision for Vermilion's Main Street Beach

Only 17 percent of Ohio’s lakefront property along Lake Erie is open for public access. It’s a commodity that is short in supply. On any summer day, hundreds of people from nearby and abroad can be seen enjoying the sights, sounds and sun at Vermilion’s Main Street Beach. It is a public attraction that few other coastal towns can boast.

Western Reserve Land Conservancy and the City of Vermilion are working together to improve the beach and surrounding area with a beach expansion, public greenspace, improved infrastructure and parking, and much more.

Vermilion’s stunning natural assets deserve to be highlighted and enjoyed for generations to come.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your help.

FX5B-312 Lake Erie

Protecting Natural Resources and Public Access

Our plan creates ADA accessible paths and a public comfort station for visitors and locals alike. A large greenspace will allow for special seasonal events and a proposed new launch will draw in canoers and kayakers from all around. The beach will become the anchor for an improved downtown center, where businesses and other amenities will benefit from tourism dollars.

An investment in this project ensures that the Main Street Beach will be more convenient and enjoyable for residents and visitors, securing a solid future for Vermilion.

By acquiring and conserving additional lakefront property that is currently in private ownership, the Land Conservancy guarantees that this strategically-located property will not be at risk of future development.

The Land Conservancy, the City, and other local partners anticipate the cost to realize all elements of the redevelopment at approximately $2 million - $2.5 million. The details regarding funding needs include:

Demolition of the Inland Seas Museum property and complete land preparation needed to create greenspace.

When the City acquired the two acres of lakefront property next to Main Street Beach, it came with a large old building previously occupied by the Inland Seas Museum. Though the original intent of the City and the Parks Board was to save the building, with many years spent exhausting all efforts to do so, the museum fell into asbestos-laden disrepair and become a public liability. At least $5.5 million would have been needed to make the building viable again, without a compelling purpose. Demolition of this building was completed in the Spring of 2021, creating a spectacular view of Lake Erie that has not been seen in over 100 years. Cost: $87,500

Acquire and demolish a private home near the Vermilion Main Street Beach.

Residents of the home have approached the City of Vermilion to buy their property. The city plans to acquire and demolish this 2-bedroom, 1,074 square foot home in preparation for building a public restroom and comfort station facility on an adjoining parcel and will increase parking for beachgoers. Currently, the property is under a purchase agreement with demolition anticipated in Fall 2021, unless funds are raised sooner. Cost: $425,000

Build the beach’s first ever permanent comfort station facility.

In a 2011 public use survey, the residents of Vermilion clearly stated a restroom as the primary need at the Main Street Beach. A single port-a-potty currently serves the hundreds of daily beachgoers. The site of a previously acquired and conserved property along Main Street Beach will be used as the site for the new public restroom and comfort station. In addition to restroom facilities, the comfort station will also feature a proposed foot wash station and concession area with completion anticipated by the 2022 summer season. Cost: $375,000

Handicapped accessible parking lot and beach access boardwalk next to the comfort station.

In addition to the need for restroom facilities, the public use survey also indicated a strong desire for additional parking.  Better handicapped accessible parking will also provide easy access to the new restroom/comfort station and connect to the existing and proposed boardwalk area.  Cost: $100,000

Park planning and design renderings.

Partnering with greenspace planning experts ensures that our collective vision for the Main Street Beach becomes reality in the most efficient, and most advantageous way for the community of Vermilion.  Cost: $50,000

Greenspace improvements.

Planned greenspace improvements will also include vital shoreline revetment to control lakefront erosion. Revetments are used as a solution for coastal erosion defense in areas where crashing waves may otherwise deplete the coastline. Shoreline revetment is currently proposed west of the swimming beach, extending in front of the historic lighthouse. Cost: $500,000

Roadwork and increased parking.

Roadwork will include a wider road along Main Street from Huron Street to Main Street Beach.  This work will include increased parking on both sides, improved drainage as well as a turnaround to make drop off with all of your beach essentials a breeze.  Cost: $504,000

Conceptual Plan

We are excited to move forward in acquiring the property, protecting the beach with conservation easements, and beginning construction. Our estimated timeline for completion of the project is fall 2022, if not sooner. Please make a gift to the Main Street Beach Revitalization effort today! By helping to make this vision a reality, you are promoting outdoor recreation for both physical and mental health, protecting the beautiful natural resource we have in Lake Erie, as well as increasing civic pride and Vermilion’s historic nautical character. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to make a stronger and more vibrant future for Vermilion.