AROUND NJ

Countdown to Memorial Day: A Shore Readiness Report

For Americans, Memorial Day weekend is the official start of the summer season. For New Jerseyans, that means heading down the Jersey Shore to their shore town of choice. But almost seven months after superstorm Sandy dealt a devastating blow to many parts of the Jersey Shore, visitors may wonder if the shore is ready for them. So we asked officials from the various shore towns for a status report on their ability to receive visitors beginning this weekend.

Asbury Park — Fully Ready

Although Director of Commerce Tom Gilmour said, “Business will never be as usual” after Hurricane Sandy, he said Asbury Park’s beaches and boardwalks opened May 18 for the summer season. While a few businesses remain closed for repairs, he said all will be open for Memorial Day weekend. He also said that officials have been monitoring the water for debris but haven’t found any.

For more information, visit www.cityofasburypark.com.

Related Video: Asbury Park Mayor Predicts This Summer Will Be One of the Best Ever

Atlantic City — Fully Ready

Elaine Shapiro Zamansky, Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority:

“Atlantic City’s Tourism District had only minimal damage from Sandy. All of our roads, resorts and tourism attractions were open within days of the storm, and there are many new attractions opening this summer. Our beaches have been refurbished where necessary, our beach bars will be open starting Memorial Day Weekend, there are no water quality restrictions and our famous four-mile boardwalk is fully intact. The footage you saw of Atlantic City’s boardwalk damage during Sandy was misleading. That was a two-block section in a residential area that had already been damaged by other storms and was scheduled for demolition.”

For full destination information, including accommodations, attractions, dining, spas, nightlife and entertainment, visit www.doatlanticcitynj.com.

Related Video: Tourism Industry Aims to Fight Misconceptions About Sandy Damage

Avalon — Fully Ready

Scott Wahl, Public Information Officer:

“Avalon is ready for Memorial Day weekend. In fact, we held a huge downtown community festival the day after Thanksgiving, and have been ready since then. There are zero visible signs that a hurricane came through our community last year. All streets, boardwalks, businesses, etc. are open and ready to go. The final road that opened did so about a month ago, a county-owned road to the Townsends Inlet Bridge between Avalon and Sea Isle City. Our beaches received a 302,000 cubic yard beachfill that ended on January 30. All tourist attractions and all beaches are open and ready for the summer. We have no repairs or water restrictions.”

Websites that are useful are www.avalonboro.org and www.visitavalonnj.com.

Belmar — Mostly Ready

Gov. Chris Christie and Belmar Mayor Matthew Doherty will reopen Belmar’s boardwalk and beach for the summer season Wednesday, May 22 with a ribbon cutting. The 1.3-mile boardwalk, which was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, has been rebuilt and officials expect business as usual in Belmar.

For more information about events and activities, visit www.belmar.com.

Related Video: Belmar’s Boardwalk Getting Reconstructed After Sandy Damage

Bradley Beach — Mostly Ready

Mary Ann Solinski, Municipal Clerk:

“Bradley Beach will be having a Memorial Day Parade along Ocean Avenue starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 25. The Memorial Day Committee will have their Annual Memorial Day Festival at the beachfront on both Saturday and Sunday, May 25 and May 26 with musical entertainment, food vendors, merchandise vendors along the beachfront walkway and kiddy rides.

Also, the newly-renovated Ship Wrecked Miniature Golf Course will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 25. The borough’s beachfront will be open including bathing, bathrooms and boardwalk area. The newly-renovated Children’s Playground is also open. However, access to the beach at the Third Avenue entrance will be closed. We anticipate that our concessions will be fully operating.”

For more information, visit the borough’s website is currently www.bradleybeachonline.com

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Cape May — Fully Ready

In season (Memorial Day through Labor Day), you must have a beach tag to use Cape May’s beaches. Tags are required for all beachgoers 12 and over between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Beach tags are available at the City Hall Tax Office and at all beach entrances during the summer.

For more information, visit www.capemay.com/activities/cape-may-beaches.html

Island Beach State Park — Mostly Ready

Michele Buckley, Office of Communications and Visitor Services, NJ Division of Parks and Forestry:

“Most areas have reopened with the exception of Ocean Bathing Area #1 which is currently closed to allow for demolition and reconstruction of the boardwalks. OBA #2 is open for public access. We anticipate reopening OBA #1 before July 4.”

Updated information on Island Beach State Park can be found on www.njparksandforests.org/parks/island.html

Lavallette — Partially Ready

Lavallette Deputy Clerk:

“The Borough of Lavallette is open and operational. Our beach season opens June 22 which is when you will need beach badges. Badges are being sold every weekend. Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Sunday and Monday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Preseason badge price is $35.00. After June 17, they will be $45.00

Parking stickers for the bay front parking lots are $10.00 and they are required Memorial Day weekend to Labor day. Parking on our streets is free. We will be having Memorial Day Services on Monday, May 27 at 11 a.m. Most of our businesses are open. We have a link to the Lavallette Business Association to see exactly how many on our website. Our beaches and boardwalk are open but no lifeguards will be on duty until June 22.”

For information on beaches and town, visit lavallette.org.

Related Video: Christie Helps Celebrate Opening of New Boardwalk in Lavallette

Long Beach Island — Mostly Ready

The scene is much different on Long Beach Island now than it was days after Hurricane Sandy hit and it was mostly deserted. Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph Mancini said, “LBI is totally open for Memorial Day.” While some residences are still going through repairs, he said 95 percent of businesses are open and operating as normal. The beaches are clear, though he said lifeguards will not be on duty until June 15.

For more information, visit longbeachisland.com.

Long Branch: Partially Ready

Business Administrator Howard Woolley said nearly all of Long Branch’s beaches and public access points will be open. Some of the beaches lost sand from Hurricane Sandy and Woolley said May is the month where it builds up. He explained that if it builds up enough, the beaches will open for the summer season. Businesses have been open since Sandy hit, according to Woolley, because Long Branch’s business area wasn’t hit hard. Part of the boardwalk was lost in the storm, but Woolley said a mile of boardwalk will be open for Memorial Day and a mile still needs to be rebuilt.

For more information, visit www.long-branch.net.

Ocean City — Fully Ready

Laurie H. Howey, Communications Manager:

“Superstorm Sandy hit Ocean City, New Jersey hard. However, the city’s municipal recovery efforts began immediately. Ocean City fared much better than our northern neighbors and sustained no major damage to the City’s historic boardwalk or seven miles of beaches.

Although the downtown business district saw historic flood levels, almost all of the retail shops and restaurants have fully completed their flood remediation efforts and have been open for business. There are currently no road closures, boardwalk repairs, beach or water quality restrictions as a result of the storm.

The city recently hosted over 40,000 visitors for the annual Spring Block Party held May 4 in Ocean City’s downtown.”

For further tourism information, visit www.OceanCityVacation.com or call 1-800-BEACHNJ.

Ocean Grove — Mostly Ready

Although FEMA denied funding to rebuild the boardwalk in Ocean Grove, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA) will open Ocean Grove’s beachfront starting Memorial Day weekend. “Since the storm, the Camp Meeting has made substantial progress towards restoring Ocean Grove’s beautiful beachfront, which is vital to the economic, recreational and spiritual well-being of our community,” OGCMA President Dr. Dale C. Whilden said. “Thanks to the support from our local, state and elected federal officials, as well as numerous individuals, private companies and community organizations, our beach will open Saturday, May 25 on schedule.”

For more information, visit www.oceangrove.org.

Oceanport –Mostly Ready

According to officials, businesses are back open in Oceanport, though some residents are not back in their homes. The boat ramp is fully operational.

For more information, visit www.oceanportboro.com.

Point Pleasant Beach — Fully Ready

Damage at Point Pleasant Beach was extensive after Hurricane Sandy, but the recovery effort was successful. The Point Pleasant Beach boardwalk will be complete Thursday, May 23 with most of the businesses back up and running. Everything is open at Jenkinson’s, including the boardwalk, beaches, rides and the aquarium. Martell’s Tiki Bar will also be open.

For more information about Point Pleasant Beach, visit www.pointpleasantbeach.com.

Sandy Hook — Partially Ready

Sandy Hook experienced record flooding during Hurricane Sandy, which shut it down for months. The area reopened earlier this month and all Sandy Hook beaches will be open Memorial Day weekend, however, facilities will be limited. There will be no working bathrooms in the beach center buildings, only portable bathrooms. There will be no outdoor showers or food service. Visitors can bring food, but no glass bottles or barbecuing is allowed. The beaches do not have trash containers so visitors should plan to take all garbage with them. Officials hope as summer progresses, repairs can be made and facilities will reopen. The fee of $15 per car will still be in effect and lifeguards will be on duty starting Saturday, May 25.

For more information, visit www.sandy-hook.com.

Related Video: Sandy Hook Reopens More Than Six Months After Hurricane Sandy

Sea Isle City — Fully Ready

Katherine Custer, Director, Sea Isle City Department of Community Services:

“I am happy to report that our town is fully prepared, and very eager, to welcome visitors this Memorial Day Weekend and throughout the 2013 summer season…

Our businesses are all open. Our Promenade/boardwalk is in perfect shape (our 1.5-mile long oceanfront Promenade is made of cement, thus, we don’t call it a boardwalk). And our beaches are full of sand and waiting to welcome swimmers and sun worshipers.”

For more information, visit www.seaislecitynj.us.

Seaside Heights — Fully Ready

Seaside Heights has undergone a successful recovery effort since Hurricane Sandy hit. The area was devastated after the storm. Rebuilding of the boardwalk began in February. According to Special Events Coordinator Michael Graichen, the beaches and businesses will be open for visitors Memorial Day weekend. “We are ready. Everything will be open,” he said.

For more information, visit exit82.com.

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Spring Lake — Fully Ready

Spring Lake’s boardwalk was ripped to pieces during the hurricane, but the beaches and boardwalk are now open for business. The boardwalk has been rebuilt, the beach is clear and the water is clean, according to officials.

For more information, visit www.springlakeboro.org.

Related Video: Spring Lake’s Boardwalk Expected to Be Rebuilt by Memorial Day Weekend

Stone Harbor — Mostly Ready

Beach season opens with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, May 24. Stone Harbor Residents, visitors and businesses will hold a mile long ribbon along the Stone Harbor Beach from 106th to 87th Streets. Mayor Walters and Borough Council will cut the ribbon at 95th Street and the beach with members of the community followed by our traditional beach opening with Beach Patrol Captain, Sandy Bosacco.

Stone Harbor beach concession stands are back after a two-year hiatus and will include light refreshments daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Uncle Bill’s Pancake House will be opening their doors for the first time since Super Storm Sandy arrived in October 2012. The Building and additional businesses, Green Cuisine and Eco Alley have had complete renovations since the storm and will be officially welcoming visitors this holiday weekend.

Related Video: Christie Visits Elementary School Newly Reopened After Hurricane Sandy Damage

Union Beach — Not Ready

Borough officials said the beaches for sunbathers and beachgoers will not be open for the Memorial Day weekend. The beaches are expected to be open by the following weekend.

The storm wreaked havoc on the half-mile long promenade area. The cost to rebuild the railings, walkways and blacktop is $1,137 million, said Borough Mayor Paul Smith. The project will be completed by the end of June, Smith said. The work will not interfere with access to the beaches.

“We want all the work done for our Fourth of July celebration,” he said

Related Video: Union Beach Residents and Business Owners Still Struggling Six Months After Sandy

Wildwood — Fully Ready

Mayor Ernie Troiano:

“We are completely open for business. We suffered almost little to no damage from Sandy. Looking forward to a great summer. This year is no different from prior years. No different.”

For more information, visit wildwoodnj.org/wp/

Related Video: Business Owners Hope This Summer Brings Those ‘Wildwood Days’