Cook County Sheriff's Office

Sheriff, county administrator both weigh in on access to “Passion Pit” beach

There has been a great deal of discussion in the last week regarding public access to a beach off of Old Shore Road in Grand Marais. The beach has been known as “Passion Pit” to many community members for decades, and has been the site of family gatherings–and sometimes late night celebrations.

A social media post asking about use of the beach set off a flurry of nearly 200 back-and-forth Facebook comments. Longtime visitors to the beach grilled the property owner who had begun telling people they do not have the right to park in the area near the beach.

The property owner, Dave Homyak, appeared before the Cook County Board of Commissioners during public comments on June 23, asking for clarification of use of the beach. He also asked the county to manage the approximately 30 feet of beach area under its ownership. He expressed concern about littering, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) use and late night gatherings. Homyak asked the county to consider placing porta-potties and trash receptacles at the site and to create barriers so ATVs could not get to the waterfront.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Cook County Administrator Rena Rogers about the concerns that Homyak expressed and how the county might become involved. Here’s their conversation.