The Story of Kurtz’s Beach
Long before The Bay Bridge (east-bound in 1952 and west-bound in 1973) allowed travelers easy access to the Eastern Shore and prior to every house having air conditioning or a swimming pool, Kurtz’s Beach was the destination of choice.
Kurtz’s Pleasure opened May 27, 1933 and was one of ten privately owned bathing beaches located here in northern Anne Arundel County. Traditionally serving the public Memorial Day through Labor Day, Kurtz’s offered guests a relaxing reprieve from the sweltering heat and humidity of a Mid-Atlantic summer.
The Kurtz brothers who founded Kurtz’s Beach came to this country from Austria as bakers, achieving great success in the Baltimore market. However, upon the great depression as sugar, flour and butter became increasingly scarce, the need to provide for their families increased and thus this new venture began.
The bathing beach business experienced much success after the legalization of slot machines in 1943. The slots, live entertainment, a full kitchen and bar became a mainstay along with being fully “sea nettle” net protected. The beach flourished for some 30 years, welcoming many generations. However, by the mid 1960s, the world was changing and with that change came a decline in attendance. By July of 1968, slots became illegal and were removed. In 1969 the construction began for the west-bound span of The Bay Bridge, making it much easier to get “down to the ocean, hon.” These factors, combined with an increasing number of bay water conditions, all contributed to a decrease in business.
The 1970s and early 1980s were very tough on the local beach industry. By this time, a second and third generation were operating the now 50-year-old business. In 1985 the decision was made to close to the public and seek alternative uses. From 1986- 1989 the beach opened strictly for private events, still offering pavilions and swimming but now with catered cuisine. Forty acres of the original 64 acres were sold and developed for houses, many of them purchased and still occupied by Kurtz family and friends.
The next three decades brought more changes. Cousins with a great love, respect, and belief in each other and in this place known historically as Kurtz’s Beach, teamed up together to honor and recapture a legacy created so long ago.
Kurtz’s Beach, Ltd. has operated since the early 1990s. Through many renovations and social transitions, we have continued to grow and evolve to where we are today – remembering our past and remaining excited for the future. We host both public and private events (weddings, banquets, picnics, crab feast and now festivals). We feel truly blessed and give thanks daily for the opportunity to recreate this place, working shoulder to shoulder with our family and friends, and are honored to share this amazing place with guests of a new generation.