The one thing you can't find in many Jersey Shore towns is swanky luxury beachfront hotels.

Many resort towns on both coasts have upscale hotel accommodations either on or near the ocean. New Jersey is more known for its old-style family motels or the few very old hotels that still survive.

Well, that's about to change in America's Greatest Family Resort — Ocean City, New Jersey.

Ocean City is known for its family-friendly atmosphere with a clean safe boardwalk and no alcohol-selling policy throughout this "dry" town.

Ocean City Boardwalk via Google Maps
Ocean City Boardwalk via Google Maps

Plans were submitted last Thursday, Feb. 23, to the Ocean City Council meeting to construct a huge $150 million luxury hotel complex in the area of 5th and 6th streets near the boardwalk.

Currently, the property is used as a large parking lot owned by the city. Those lots fill up fast at the peak of the summer season so some other parking accommodation will have to be made somewhere.

The two heads of the project, Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian and Icona Resorts CEO Eustace Mita.

Icona in Avalon via Google Maps
Icona in Avalon via Google Maps

They said that the number of hotel rooms in Ocean City has gone from 3,000 in the year 2000 to around 750 now and they're not taking advantage of the city's main appeal, which is tourism.

They haven't had a new hotel there in more than half a century.

Icona CEO Mita told the City Council:

"We don’t want it to be the nicest in Ocean City, we want it to be the nicest on the East Coast.”

They sure have proven their ability to do it. Icona already operates eight hotels in Avalon, Cape May and the Diamond Beach section of Lower Township.

Three of those rank among the top 75-ranked hotels in the country. No word on whether the project faces stiff opposition or any timeline for completion.

There are so many great beach towns not just in New Jersey, but the entire country.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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