Is the Entire Shore Open for Business? [AUDIO]
Governor Chris Christie and President Barack Obama have each told residents and consumers across the country that the Jersey shore is open for business this summer, but that’s not true everywhere along the coast.
As business meccas like Seaside Heights and Belmar get promoted as summer 2013 destinations, despite the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy, other shore communities are still in their first steps of recovery.
Ortley Beach, part of Toms River, managed to open three blocks of its beach for the holiday weekend. The ocean community has been considered by many as “ground zero” for Sandy.
“We opened from Second Avenue to Fifth Avenue,” said Toms River Mayor Thomas Kelaher. “We leased a mobile restroom for men and women.”
Only one beach access point is available, and a trailer is in place for lifeguards, whose headquarters got washed away by the storm.
Joey Harrison’s Surf Club remains a pile of rubble, as businesses that didn’t fare as badly continue their quest for some economic activity this summer. The iconic Barnacle Bill’s arcade should be open in the coming months with a new miniature golf course.
“Every restaurant, every place of business, was flooded,” Kelaher added.
Visitors Will See Empty Lots in Mantoloking
Over in Mantoloking, where 40 percent of the homes are gone or will be, beach access points should be affected all summer by demolition crews.
“We have 13 access points,” explained Mantoloking Mayor George Nebel. “This summer, only half of them will be open, and it won’t be the same half every day.”
He said visitors can expect to see a bunch of empty lots as they travel through the borough, but that’s better than decimated homes.