The lift, which had carried over 101,000 people up to last weekend, was kept open an extra month following a late burst of Indian summer weather. It was open all week to cater for school half-term holidays.
Last year it carried 102,000 visitors and its use is a barometer of Saltburn’s summer season business. The record number of passengers was 112,000 in 2001. “We’ve had more rain than sun this year and the Indian summer came a little late to help trade,” said veteran beach shop and café owner Edna Vernon. “On hot days we do quite well, but when it rains no one comes.”
Mrs Vernon has invested thousands of pounds in a new shop and takeaway at her rebuilt café near Cat Nab. It is due to open next March.
Nick Noble, who runs the surfing school and equipment hire side of Saltburn’s surf shop, said: “We've done well this year.” Colleague Gary Rogers said: “We’ve had a pretty good autumn and the surf has been tremendous. On a good day we’ve averaged 40 surfers, some from Leeds,
Cumbria and Durham.”
A Redcar and Cleveland Council spokesman said the cliff lift had taken over £49,000 for the year so far and the total expenditure was £67,750. “This is a fantastic and well-loved attraction and we welcome its continuing success.”
The spokesman said there was no planned opening date for the restaurant at the controversial foreshore building opposite the pier. Saltburn Foreshore Committee, made up of businesses and beach users, said it is looking forward to the opening of a community room at the newly-painted building.
Ten new dog and litter bins are to be placed on the lower promenade next spring.