This past winter, instead of relaxing after the busy summer season, they had other priorities – rebuilding the motel after Hurricane Sandy pounded Seaside Heights causing severe damage to the interior and exterior of the motel. It took six months to get everything done, including remodeling 52 rooms, replacing the two roofs that were swept away by Superstorm Sandy and cleaning up the exterior that was piled with debris, garbage and remnants of the Seaside boardwalk. The lifeguard rescue boats even made its way to the motel’s front door.
“It was quite a scene and we never in a million years thought this would happen to us. Seaside Heights really took the brunt of the storm as it ruined our town, the historic rides and boardwalk. But, my family and I never had any doubt that we would be back in business for the summer,” comments Pollara. The spirit of moving on and forward propelled her, and so many other local business owners, to work endless hours and get the motel back and running by Memorial Day weekend. She adds, “This is our income and tourism is what we live on.” Looking at the motel today, there are children in the pool splashing, guests lounging and basking in the sun, going to the beach for the day and just relaxing on the sun decks. Seaside Heights has done a tremendous amount to promote this area – including Governor Christie visiting a number of times. “The entire community has worked together to rebuild and we are so grateful that people are coming and once again enjoying this fun tourist area.”
Mat Vandenheuvel, a close family friend who has worked the front desk for the past four summers, learned many lessons from the storm and realized that what are truly important are people pulling together when you need them most. “The Seaside community really worked together as a family so we could get this town back for the summer."
To learn more about this business and others affected by the storm, please visit http://bit.ly/19EYgjm. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the WCEC’s “We’re Storming Back” Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Program provides free workshops, training, and resources to New Jersey businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy to help them to recover and thrive.
About The WCEC
The WCEC, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit corporation, is a U. S. Small Business
Administration’s Women’s Business Center.
The WCEC provides the tools for individuals to successfully own, operate
and grow their small businesses, thereby investing financially, intellectually
and emotionally in their communities. The WCEC provides more than 150 classes,
seminars and individual consulting sessions each year for more than 5,000
participants. For more information please visit hwww.wcecnj.org/.