After all the dreary weather in the last few months, many people are anxious to spend some time at the Jersey Shore this Memorial Day Weekend.
While some residents are still recovering from the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy more than three years ago, it’s no longer having an impact on tourism, said Vicki Clark, president of the New Jersey Tourism Industry Association.
“I really think that’s in the rear-view mirror,” Clark said. “We are seeing our beaches healthier than ever. We are seeing businesses that have struggled to get back on their feet to really be ready for this year.”
Stewart Farrell, who directs the Coastal Research Center at Stockton University, said Shore communities cleaned up the debris and hauled in some sand to get the beaches in shape.
“The storm damage was not particularly severe. Yes, there were cuts in the dunes, but those can be fixed and were fixed,” he said. “The public access points were repaired. The biggest problem was, of course, the steel wall erosion in Mantoloking and Brick Township, which has been restored.”
Plenty of visitors have booked ahead of the summer, said Clark. Tourism is a $41 billion industry in New Jersey that supports about 500,000 million jobs.
“The tourism industry is comprised of so many small businesses, mom-and-pop businesses. And these are the businesses that support all of the nonprofit organizations that are within their communities,” she said. “They are the businesses that support community growth, community betterment.”