Travel | May 23, 2017 5:00 am

Famed Beach in France Is Being Privatized—and Locals Aren’t Happy

La Baule beach in Brittany, one of largest beaches in world, is making waves.

La Baule Beach in France Is Being Privatized, and Locals Aren't Happy
Aerial view over the bay of La Baule with the beach of La Baule and the marina of Le Pouliguen. The beach and the waterfront. (Andia/UIG via Getty Images)

Life’s going to be a real beach for some local businesspeople in France.

According to The Local, one of the country’s most famous beaches—La Baule, a 7.5-mile stretch of sandy coastline in Brittany—is being turned private by French utilities giant Veolia, who will manage its bars, restaurants, clubs, and amenities.

But that change isn’t sitting well with the 35 business owners who have been selling a variety of wares near the beach for years. These businesses haul in just under $10 million per year and account for some 500 seasonal jobs. The company is looking to set up temporary structures to sell said wares instead of using permanent ones, and the costs incurred to set them up could block out some smaller businesses.

The privatization hoopla stems from a 2006 law that limited the amount of space available to be used for commercial operations on a beach. However, the law never went into effect at La Baule, and when a storm hit seven years later and destroyed many of the businesses, authorities had to step in and reconsider the ordinance. The state declared a natural disaster, and all hell broke loose.

It’s worth noting that only 3.3 miles of the beach will be under the management of Veolia.