Should NJ have an official beer week?
Summer is just starting to heat up, but one New Jersey lawmaker already has New Jersey's fall tourism season on his mind.
Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi (R-Vineland) co-sponsors legislation that he hopes will bolster tourism and raise revenue. The measure would designate the last week in September as "New Jersey Beer, Wine and Spirits Week" and the last Wednesday in September as "New Jersey Dine Out Day."
"People don't realize that in the whole state of New Jersey tourism generates a lot of dollars, hires a lot of people (and) brings revenue into the state," Fiocchi said.
Last year, New Jersey raked in $40.4 billion in tourism revenue, setting a state record. Fiocchi hopes his legislation will help businesses while also pouring more money into the state's coffers at no expense to the taxpayers.
"That's the idea - whenever you can promote and bring revenue in without having a cost involved, it's a positive situation," Fiocchi said. "Anything we can do to enhance those tourism dollars is huge."
New Jersey ranks tenth in the nation in wine production and has a growing brewery and brewpub industry. Currently, most of the promotion is left up to the industry itself.
"Our state is home to 48 wineries, 28 breweries and two distilleries and we can and should help them," Fiocchi said.