Seaside Heights Preparing for Summer Season After Sandy


By Lauren Wanko
NJ Today

It’s become a familiar sound in Seaside Heights as contractors race against the clock to rebuild the boardwalk.

“It’s something you kinda take for granted. You walk the boardwalk every single day, then all of a sudden it’s not here, and here we are just about 50 plus days to the season and we’re up here on the boardwalk again,” said Seaside Heights Mayor Bill Akers.

Contractors in Seaside Heights are reconstructing a three-quarter mile stretch of boardwalk — about 15 blocks long. So far they’ve completed about 50 percent of the project and they expect the entire boardwalk to be completed just before Memorial Day. That’s welcome news to business owners whose shops are right on the boardwalk.


Beachcomber Bar and Restaurant reopened in December. Owner Michael Carbone is ready for a steady stream of summer tourists to come filing in from the new boardwalk.

“This is our livelihood, this is our home. I mean, we have no choice. We have to get everything back and running and back to normal. That’s how we support our families and everything else. I mean everybody has a job. This is what we do for a living,” Carbone said.

Mayor Akers says there are more than 300 businesses in town and about 25 are now open.

“And you say well gee that’s a big discrepancy in the number, but the truth, truth be told, there’s not a lot open this time of year but everybody looks like they’re gonna be on schedule for Memorial Day which is really, really pleasing,” Akers said.

Like Maruca’s Tomato Pies scheduled to open in a couple weeks.

“Collectively as a town we’ll come together and we move forward. It will work, we’ll come back. We’ll be back better than ever,” said Maruca’s Tomato Pie owner Domenic Maruca.

The roller coaster, the haunted house and two other rides are still in the Atlantic Ocean. When will that famous roller coaster be pulled from the water?

“We really wish we had the answer,” said Maria Mastoris of Casino Pier. “We’re hopefully in plans right now to have a company take it out of the ocean, as well as the rest of the rides.”

Mastoris says the water park, go-carts, arcade and some games and children’s rides will be open for Memorial Day. They hope to have half the pier open by the end of the summer.

“Seaside Heights will be open for 2013 season. I would hope that everybody that has enjoyed those seasons past will come and start new memories with us,” Akers said.

Memories, not of Superstorm Sandy’s wrath, but of a Jersey Shore town’s determination to come back stronger.

  • john

    i been going down seaside since i was a baby and love that place i go down all the time i wish they would save the jet star and the ferris wheel if you know when they will take it down let me know thanks

  • Fern Mentzel Allen

    I was raised in Seaside Heights and my four boys have spent many summers and winters visiting their grandmother Sarah Daniels. I am pleased to see that the boardwalk is being rebuilt. I hope that Funtown where my father worked when Mayor Tunny was there will be rebuilt. Those that lost businesses and homes are in my prayers. My home was spared and has only minor damage. I am looking forward to being able to come there this summer and spend some time.

  • Annmarie

    I’ve been going to Seaside every summer since I was a baby and have continued the tradition with my kids. In the summer it’s my home away from home! Unfortunately we won’t be getting a weekly rental this year but we will definitely be making plenty of day trips!

  • dan g

    it is nice to see the boardwalk being rebuilt and some of the businesses coming back, but what about the homeowners..? I haven’t seen much on rebuilding or how the residents are doing. I’m skeptical that money to save the shore will be used to rebuild business and not the residents. Will seaside housing become high-priced condos ?

  • Russ Haudan

    I have been to Casino Pier about 3 times,first in 1999,then in 2000,because things were economically bad for me for many years past 2003,i did not make it back again until 2011,just a year before Sandy !!! I hope to see it back up & running,i hope you can get equivalent replacement for Stillwalk manor !!!!!!

  • Tom

    As a child my Dad took us to Seaside,the beaches were reasonable, and the stands etc more competitive than point pleasant where we had a shore house! We put our Blanket near the Beachcomber because they always had bands playing.The Safairis ( wipe out) were there once while we were there!
    Hope it returns to family type place after this recontstruction.