NJ rentals, hotels looking for more business this summer
Rentals and hotel bookings along the Jersey Shore need some help from Mother Nature this upcoming summer season.
Weather and local forecasts seem to be having a larger impact on the shore-stay market than in the past.
Christina Ranuro, co-owner of The White Sands Oceanfront Resort & Spa in Point Pleasant Beach, remembers years when the resort was already sold out for the entire season by the start of May.
"Now it's just not that way," Ranuro told New Jersey 101.5. "There's just not, I think, as much expendable income, and people don't want to lose their money, so they wait to find out how the weather's going to be."
The White Sands is about 40 percent occupied for the season, Ranuro said. And it's a wait-and-see approach every week to see whether the other 60 percent will be filled. The resort was in a similar situation last year.
At Seaside Realty in Seaside Heights, business is slightly off from last year.
Broker Michael Loundy believes the downturn could be a product of a less-than-pleasant spring, including a wet May.
"It reduces our activity when people are not thinking about the weather breaking and it being nice out," Loundy said. "Our phones are quieter, our bookings are lighter when the weather is difficult in the spring."
But activity has picked up recently. Loundy said the business is currently "playing catch-up."
"It's hard to say where we're going to be in the next few weeks," he said.
This rental season is going strong for Richard. I Wood Agency in Manasquan, according to office manager Lisa Smith, but scattered weeks have availability through Labor Day Weekend.
Smith noted the agency deals with last-minute rentals all summer long. Would-be visitors wait for the 10-day or 14-day forecast before making a decision.