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Jersey Shore reopens after Hurricane Sandy

Officials say most resort towns restored, open for business

Shonda McClain | 6/1/2013, 9:44 p.m.
The Shore is calling eight months after Superstorm Sandy. Officials say most resort towns restored and open for business.
Wildwood, home to the famous Wildwoods, escaped the brunt of Hurricane Sandy

Repair the damaged. Rebuild the destroyed. Re-open for summer. That is the goal of the Jersey

Shore, which welcomed the official start of its high season Memorial Day Weekend.

Eight months after being devastated by Superstorm Sandy, which slammed the New Jersey coast

last fall, submerging most of the Jersey shore in sea water and damaging or destroying nearly

350,000 homes statewide, bulldozers have come, gone - and come back again. Hard fought

government assistance has started to trickle down to some the most needed areas and one of the

most iconic landmarks on the Jersey Shore, the Jet Star roller coaster in Seaside Heights, which

plunged into the murky depths of the Atlantic Ocean on Oct. 29, 2012, has been demolished and

exhumed from its watery grave.

Although the recovery continues in drips and drabs, the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors

Bureau said the Jersey Shore is “open for business,” stating on its website, “The recovery process is

still underway in some towns, however, most towns are up and running with a resolve to restore

business as usual. Restaurants, theaters, historical programs, hotels, bed and breakfasts and

hundreds of small mom and pop shops in Jersey Shore towns are open for business and need your

support!”

In 2012, tourism accounted for 7 percent of the gross domestic product in New Jersey and the state,

particularly the shore areas, are eager to lure tourists back. This has been aided by a $30 million

federally funded advertising campaign emphasizing the shore’s recovery with ads featuring Gov.

Chris Christie and his family.

Christie is confident that New Jersey is ready for summer. He said the tourism season will not be

put off.

Some of the towns ready to welcome summer tourists include Asbury Park, Atlantic City and Ocean

City.

Asbury Park celebrated the reopening of its famed boardwalk - which sustained $3 million in

damages - in May with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and giving away 1,000 daily beach passes for the

summer season.

The historic shore town boasts one of the best free, life guard protected beaches in the state,

eclectic shopping, great restaurants and fantastic views of the newly restored Paramount Theater

and Convention Hall.

The first Saturday of each month, the city celebrates “First Saturday Asbury Park” and restaurants

and shops open late to accommodate visitors.

New to Asbury Park this summer is the Silver Ball Museum, which houses antique pinball games

that can be viewed and played.

Atlantic City is also betting on a strong comeback this season. The city is working to dispel the

perception that the glittering gambling town was destroyed by Sandy. Although casinos were shut

down for an unprecedented five days following the hurricane, they sustained very little damage and

Atlantic City’s historic boardwalk remained intact.

They have also launched an ambitious advertising campaign showing people jogging on the

boardwalk and enjoying Atlantic City’s exciting nightlife.

"I think the message here is that ... we're open for business. We're in great shape physically and,

quite honestly, we need your help," Liza Cartmell, president of the Atlantic City Alliance, which is