Wildwoods beaches may also open along with parks and golf courses
The Wildwoods may get a jump on summer and open their beaches and boardwalks this weekend to coincide with Gov. Phil Murphy reopening golf courses and state parks.
Murphy signed an executive order on Wednesday reopening parks on Saturday with parking capped at 55%. Proper social distancing must be followed and picnics, barbecues and other social gatherings are not permitted. It is up to individual municipalities to decide on opening their beaches.
Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron told New Jersey 101.5 on Tuesday that he spoke with Wildwood Crest mayor Don Cabrera and North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello through Zoom on Tuesday morning to discuss a coordinated opening of beaches.
"The gist of the conversation was trying to come out in a uniform manner with regards to opening the beach, the boardwalk, parks, playgrounds, bicycle paths, etc. Our game plan in a perfect world would be to come up with a definitive schedule by the middle of next week," Bryon said.
Murphy's decision could change those plans.
With temperatures headed for the 60s on Saturday and 70s on Sunday under mostly sunny skies, Cabrera said that the beaches may open as soon as this weekend for recreational use with no sun bathing, gatherings or events allowed. Proper social distancing would need to be observed.
The bike path and sports courts will be open for individual use but playgrounds will remain closed. Cape May County's short-term rental and hotel and motel bans remain in effect.
Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, is optimistic the opening of the beach and boardwalk is weeks not months away.
"I think they're just waiting for some signals from the governor to better plan how we are going to have a summer," Gillian said.
Gillian said there's a lot for businesses to consider about the summer season.
"It's a complex issue in that it's going to be a different summer because there's going to be restrictions and no one wants to see anybody putting health at risk," she said.
She also believes that some protective measures already in place such as takeout at restaurants will help create a successful summer.
Some Jersey Shore towns aren't ready to welcome crowds to their beach.
Metered parking, which has been suspended since March 20, will be reinstated in Asbury Park starting Friday at 5 p.m. for residents and visitors with no weekend public parking in the Bangs Avenue parking garage.
The city's scooter and bike share programs will remain suspended.
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