TOURISM businesses in Llandudno fear the resort’s beach may not be sandy enough to compete with other seaside towns.
On the eve of one of Llandudno's busiest weekends, the issue of sea defence changes causing sand on North Shore to disappear and be replaced by stones has been highlighted.
The worry now is the growing amount of stones could further shrink the stretch of sand between the slipway and the wooden jetty - and turn off visitors.
John Jones, who owns and operates the donkey rides on the North Shore, likened the rocky beach to a “lunar landscape”, and said the shrinking sand would lessen the amount of available space for the donkeys, forcing riders to share the crowded beach with sunseekers.
“Stones are sliding down and stones are coming in from the sea line. They meet in the middle and the town is losing a lot of beach now.
He also pointed out unpleasant side effects to having a stony beach.
“It becomes untidy and holds all the seaweed, and then on a hot day that starts to smell.
“Most visitors come for the day and see if they want to stay two or three days - but if they saw the state of that beach now, I think they’d think twice.”
He added that the council’s engineers needed to keep reviewing the situation and clear the beach when needed, rather than at the start of the season.
David Williams, head of the Llandudno Hospitality Association, said he had put in a request to Conwy Council to clear some of the stones.
He added: “It’s always been a stony beach, but there’s always been a good stretch of sand. But we can’t see the sand now for stones.”
A spokeswoman for the council said a surf rake machine will be used to keep beaches clear through the season.
She added: “The schedule is prepared taking account of various considerations, including tidal conditions.”