Improving weather boosts outlook for Jersey Shore businesses

 Belmar shops damaged by Sandy are reopened and hoping for pickup in business after a rainy June. (Phil Gregory/for NewsWorks)

Belmar shops damaged by Sandy are reopened and hoping for pickup in business after a rainy June. (Phil Gregory/for NewsWorks)

The Jersey Shore is enjoying some great weather for the long holiday weekend.  That’s good news for merchants who had a bad June.

Memorial Day weekend was good even after a cold and wet start but last month, the wettest June on record in New Jersey, was soggy and slow. Mike Annarelli says a great deal of his business at his Ocean City bike shop is weather dependent.

“It can’t get real, real hot because the majority of people don’t bike  ride,” said Annarelli. “We’re getting better weather, at least it’s not like June where it was a couple of weeks that were miserable, they were not spending money, they weren’t doing much of anything.”

Bob Idell bought a restaurant after it was washed out by Superstorm Sandy and the former owner gave up. He says business is rebounding.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“We’re going from zero to 80 miles an hour so things are good,” said Idell. “We’re hearing that some businesses are down and soft and things like that but things have been very well for us.”

Further up the coast in Belmar, the owner of TR’s Food Court on Ocean Avenue says it was the roughest June he’s ever had.

“I’ve been here 18 years and only one day was I ever closed in June. This year I was closed four days,” said Tom Rogers. “So it’s been really rough, but now we got a lot of people, and hopefully in the next 30 days we’ll be OK.”

A few doors away at Eastern Lines, a surf board rental and beachwear shop, owner Don Tarrant says business is down about 30 percent from last summer.

Like many other Shore merchants, he’s happy to be open after the damage caused by Sandy, and hopes nicer weather brings back business.

“We only reopened again in May, so we’ve only been here for two months. We’re down about 30 percent from where we would normally be between May and June,” Tarrant said. “I’m hopeful. You know in the past it’s always been if the sun is out and the weather is nice, the people are here.”

Other business owners are happy that this holiday weekend has been good so far, and hope the momentum carries right through Labor Day.

And the weekend forecast sounds ideal with highs in the upper 80s and only a 30 percent chance of a passing thunderstorm on Sunday.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal