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MTV's 'Jersey Shore' Brings Profits to Toms River Businesses, Despite Reputation

While many locals turn their nose up at MTV's "Jersey Shore," it has been a blessing for some Toms River businesses.

Tonight, the fist-pumping antics of will return for its fifth season, which leaves some Toms River natives and officials rolling their eyes. For local businesses the tanned and toned cast frequents while filming, however, the hit show means a surge in profits.

“In a time when we're struggling, it brought families back to the shore,” said Tony Rivoli, owner of Rivoli’s Italian and Seafood Restaurant . He said his establishment has become “the unofficial restaurant of the ‘Jersey Shore’” since it first appeared on the show in season three.

“The phone didn’t stop ringing,” he said of the day after Rivoli’s appeared on the “Jersey Shore." “It was so busy, we ran out of food.”

Rivoli’s only seats 110 people, he said, but after it was featured on the show, he had to hire an additional 13 servers that summer to handle the rush.

Jagged Edge Salon, also on Fischer Boulevard, is the barbershop the Situation, Pauly D, Vinny, and Ronnie patronize while filming in Seaside. O.J., a long time employee at the salon, said they have had a “massive amount of customers” come in after seeing the business on the show.

“People come in and ask for the ‘Pauly D’ blowout,” said O.J. When the cast comes to the shop, he said they make appointments like any other customer, and the rest of the salon is still operating.

“It’s not like they’re P-Diddy,” he said. Overall, O.J. said neither he nor any of the employees at Jagged Edge had any complaints about being on the show, and cited it as a beneficial opportunity for their business.

“My only complaint is I haven’t gotten my spot as a member of the cast yet,” he joked.

Mike Loundy, a member of the Seaside Business Improvement District and the MTV liaison for Seaside Heights said Seaside Height’s revenue was up 20 percent after the first season aired.

“We attribute all of that to the exposure the show has created,” he said. He also said there were only four film permits before the show aired in 2009, now, Seaside Heights has 30 film permits. So, the show is causing other projects to film in the area as well. 

In regards to Toms River, he noted that the crew collectively spends 6,000 hotel nights over the course of shooting, and many of them are spent in Toms River’s Holiday Inn and Howard Johnson.

Besides this, he said the crew, which is about 125 people strong, would eat meals and shop in the areas where they are filming. That means if the cast is filming at Rivoli’s that night, the crew is staying in Toms River hotels, and patronizing the shops and restaurants in the area.   

On top of this, he noted that because fans and crew must travel through Toms River to get to Seaside Heights, they are spending money at gas stations and convenience stores along the way.

“The fans and everyone affiliated has to get here from somewhere,” Loundy said.

Even with the increase in exposure, many Toms River locals still scoff at the show because of its portrayal of the Jersey Shore and Italian Americans.

Rivoli said some business owners, who were approached by the show as prospective filming locations in the first season, refused to let them shoot at their establishments. After seeing the success it has brought to other local businesses, they are now eating their words.

“These are good kids,” he said, “People need to realize, reality shows are reality only to a point.”

J. Mark Mutter, town clerk for Tom’s River, even rolled his eyes at the mention of the “Jersey Shore.” However, he couldn’t deny the positive impact it’s had on local business.

“I’ll say this, from my observation and in my travels around New Jersey, it has definitely put Toms River on the map,” he said.

“We’re not involved in the content,” Loundy said on the reproach for the show,  “We’re just folks happy to have someone filming here.”

jaime January 06, 2012 at 02:53 PM
you all complain about the Benny's but why do you think the taxes in the aria are so low. if it wasn't for them we would be paying high taxes. as for the show its a good thing for all the local businesses who have locals working for them if not they would not have a job. DON'T HATE THE PLAYER HATE THE GAME!!!!! I DID THE SAME THING WHEN I LIVED UP NORTH AND CAME DOWN HERE THE HAG OUT AND GOD KNOWS I TURNED OUT JUST FINE
Greg January 06, 2012 at 03:04 PM
This is one of the reasons why the world is the way it is. Profits over morals. Money over God. It's so sad. <><
Ivan Stinger January 06, 2012 at 03:09 PM
How much is Sleaside and TR paying for the added cops and courts to control and process the garbage the show attracts to the community versus small business profitability? HoJos and Holiday Inn aren't saving those individual locations... those are corporate entities so the revenue goes back to corporate. Maybe a few residents get to hang onto their housekeeping positions but that's about the extent. A Toms River native and current resident, the only TR people I know that watch the show and are fans are those that are either NOT from TR or town transplants. Toms River is a big town with city problems but the town looks the other way, "Not my problem." Only going to get worse so purchase your helmets now. Shame but with increased population comes more garbage. And now we're allowing the publicizing of "Hey, come visit us, fellow garbage people."
BN January 06, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Anyone who didn’t see this coming is just plain oblivious. I mean really, has ANY alumni of MTV "reality" programming ever made it big? They wind up in jail, penniless, or dead. The "normal" cast members usually go on to successful careers in their respective fields of college study. With Jersey Shore, ALL the cast members are violent, belligerent drunks who have ZERO post-secondary education, and are notorious for living a lifestyle filled with lavish excess. They think that they are set for life, when in reality their cash cow is out of milk. I seriously doubt any one of them is investing their earnings wisely or considering a career that does not involve posing, drinking, fighting, or fornicating.
BN January 06, 2012 at 04:42 PM
I took a walk on the boardwalk a few weeks ago. I passed a bar that had the infamous "Snookie's Chair" visible through the window. Half the letters were missing. It kinda says alot. Much like the out-dated and sun-bleached t-shirts available for $1 at the end of the season.
Paul E Taylor Jr January 06, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Being born and raised in Toms River and my family roots go back to 1690, I can say that most of the transplants have been the cause of most of the problems here. Every summer it gets worse. Now this show of misfit over sex morons make it even worse. Seaside was bad enough in the 70's and 80's, now I wouldnt even want to be there during the day. Crime has gone way up. Do you know it takes Seaside 3 hours every night to clean up the boardwalk from all the litter as well as the beach? They may bring in the revenue, but there are huge expenses involved too. I just say BENNIES GO HOME AND STAY THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LA RUE January 06, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Amen!!!
Shelly January 06, 2012 at 08:39 PM
The retailers in Toms River are happy now that business is up due to the Jersey Shore Crew but once they stop filming this "pig fest" and they are gone for good, that's when Toms River and Seaside are going to feel it. There are so many families that used to come to this area for the summer and they stopped coming because of the dangerous atmosphere on the boardwalk. Those renters are gone for good! And as for Tony at Rivoli's, it still amazes me that people eat there. I guess when you don't know good food, it doesn't matter where you have dinner.
LA RUE January 06, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Once again...This blog is not about the food or drink at any restaurant, it's about the effects that the Jersey Shore show's influence has on the community. Better yet, why mention the name of "Tony" at Rivoli's. Sounds to me like you have a personal vendetta aganist at the restaurant and it's owner.Think before you write.But I'm sure that all the 5 star restaurants in Toms River that you attend, thank you for your support.
SouthernBelle January 07, 2012 at 02:24 AM
IT IS OF GREAT CONCERN TO ME THAT MOST DO MISS THE POINT. "JERSEY SHORE" BROUGHT OUT WHAT HAD ALREADY BEEN A PROBLEM IN SEASIDE. "DRUGS" "WELFARE", IN THAT ORDER. SEASIDE IS A WINTER HAVEN FOR THE CRAP THAT THE TOWN HAS GOING ON, AND THE LEADERS, POLICE, AND WHOMEVER ELSE (IN MY EDUCATED OPINION), ARE HARBORING THE "DRUGSTERS". SOME PEOPLE HAVE REPORTED SEEING POLICE GIVING DRUGGIE DEALERS SLAP ON WRIST, INSTEAD OF HAVING THEM EVICTED AND THEN RUN OUT OF TOWN. OWENERS TOO, WHOM I HAVE HEARD SAY, "THEY NEED TO GET THE RENT" AND DON'T CARE HOW THEY GET IT OR THEY WILL LOSE THEIR PROPERTIES. ALSO, CONDO OWNERS, (AND THERE ARE LOTS OF THEM NOW) RENT TO JUST ABOUT ANYONE. HOW CAN THE TOWN KEEP UP? THE REMARK CONCERNING "THE CLEANING UP EVERY NIGHT" OF BOARDWALK AND BEACH IS DEFINATELY OVERSTATED. IT'S TRUE AT CERTAIN TIMES OF THE YEAR, BUT CERTAINLY NOT "EVERY NIGHT FOR 3 HOURS". THE REVENUE THE TOWN ENJOYS, DOES NOT HELP THE OWNERS OUT. THE TAXES ARE WAY TOO HIGH, THE NEWLY BUILT CONDOS. ARE NOT BEING PURCHASED, THE ELECTRIC AND WATER ARE STUPENDOUS. THIS TOWN MAKES A FORTUNE, AND DOES NOT GIVE BACK TO IT'S PEOPLE. SOME OF US WHO HAVE FRIENDS AND RELATIVES HERE WHO OWN, ARE SICK AND TIRED OF THE POLICE AND LEADERS WHO ARE LETTING THE DRUG PEOPLE OFF REALLY EASY. I HAVE GRANDKIDS, AND WOULD NEVER PUT THEM IN DANGER, AND JUST TO LET THOSE OF YOU WHO DON'T KNOW, IT'S MORE SAFE THAN MOST PLACES, DAY AND/OR NIGHT, BECAUSE THE POLICE WHO DO THEIR JOBS, ARE OUT THERE.
Ken January 07, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Did you really need to use all CAPS like what you had to say was any more important than whatever anyone else said?????
just me January 07, 2012 at 03:15 AM
This article sounds to me like an attempt at validating the continuation of "Jersey Shore" here in Ocean County. Why not spread the wealth in .. say ... Point Pleasant?? Belmar??? LBI ??? ...WHAT, nobody wants it there?? But, what about the economic boon??? I'm tired of the antics that this show brings, I'm embarrassed to admit that I live in Toms River. I've checked into hotels in Chicago, New Orleans, Seattle, and as far as Alaska and I get the same question; "is it like the show "Jersey Shore?". Well, it didn't used to be but it seems it's becoming more and more like "Jersey Shore". When local's are asked to move their table in the midst of their meal at a Fischer Blvd restaurant because the Jersey Shore cast showed up and wanted "their table", well .... we know who really matters. Obviously it's not the year round patrons. People! Let's get our priorities in order and stop putting these punk bullies on a pedestal. They are rude, crude, and lewd. End of story.
Laci January 07, 2012 at 04:14 AM
La Rue is the new marymary on the (blog) block.
SouthernBelle January 07, 2012 at 04:47 AM
NO, CAPS AREN'T NEEDED FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE POST. EASIER TO SEE FOR THE BLINDER PEOPLE WHO READ POSTS.. PLEASE DON'T BE ANGRY OR OFFENDED. BUT IF YOU WANT TO BE, I CAN'T HELP YOU. THERE WAS ONCE A POST THAT THE FBI SHOULD BE CALLED IN TO "CLEAN UP THE TOWN" WHOMEVER THE MONITOR WAS, THEY STOPPED THE POSTING ON THIS SUBJECT. THINK THIS WILL HAPPEN AGAIN? INSTEAD OF ALL THE BASHING AND BEING PERMISSIVE ABOUT ALLOWING THE DRUGGIES IN TOWN, AND THE WELFARE PROBLEM PPLE (DRUGGIES), NOT ALL THE WELFARE PPLE, IT'S THE ONLY WAY FOR THE TOWN TO BE CONSIDERED A FAMILY ORIENTED PLACE TO GO AGAIN. ALTHOUGH, THERE WERE PLENTY OF FAMILIES ON BOARDWALK AND BEACH LAST SUMMER, AMONG THE ROTTEN RATS, AND THE MINORITIES COMING IN TO RUIN THE TOWN. AND, THERE WERE A FEW DRUG RAIDS, I HEAR, BUT, DON'T KNOW IF IT HELPED. ALSO, SOME SHOOTINGS THAT ARE NOT PUBLICIZED. YES, GET THE FBI IN TO GO BLOCK BY BLOCK AND RID THE TOWN OF THE SCURGE. AND THE LEADERS OR POLICE WHO ARE INVOLVED. FOR THE GOOD POLICE WHO WORK HARD TO KEEP ORDER AND LOOK TO HELP THE TOWN KEEP SAFE, THEY SHOULD BE COMMENDED. SEASIDE TOWN HALL CAN USE SOME CHANGES IN ATTITUDE ALSO. CRIME IS RUNNING RAMPANT ALL OVER THE STATE. TR AND SSH & SURROUNDING AREAS HAVEN'T GOT AN IOTA OF THE PROBLEMS OF OTHER TOWNS IN NJ.
LA RUE January 07, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Thank you Laci, Out of all the comments given on the blog, you mentioned me. Thanks again.
Marynary January 07, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Ha ha ha Laci. Good one but since La Rue has not once said anything about having a neighbor who was related to a person from Hoboken who had an aunt who lived next door to Snookie.....It probably is not marymary.
Marynary January 07, 2012 at 03:56 PM
POLICE, AND WHOMEVER ELSE (IN MY EDUCATED OPINION), Ummm, Ok.
Project Bluebeam January 07, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Please use the CTRL and the + button to magnify your screen. All caps is rude and unacceptable behavior in an internet forum. I for one have already reported your posts. I'm sure others will do the same.
I B buggin January 08, 2012 at 04:26 AM
Using all caps gives the impression of yelling.....FYI
SouthernBelle January 08, 2012 at 06:52 AM
FYI, ALL CAPS are easier to see. I've been using computers for well over 14 years, and I'm completely aware of that stupid made up idea that it means yelling. TO ME, IT DOES NOT. But if it makes you fools happy, go make reports, as children in school. I thought this post concerned "THE JERSEY SHORE" Program, and it's launching of huge profits to Toms River area, and how people feel about it. I guess Rose and Blue are worried about CAPS though. So everyone will know that you two know what ALL UPPER CASE MEANS TO DUMMIES. Unbelievable, okay kiddies, we won't yell. Idiots, just like the people you presume to be idiots and dummies. You're just like them. Actually, they're a little smarter. They're making a fortune. Selling books, selling perfumes, getting other gigs. It just amazes me that everyone actually believes that the towns are suffering in reputation because of them, when you have dummies that are worrying about my use of caps. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH USING CAPS. DUMB AND DUMBER I know how to magnify the screen. I PREFER TO SEE WHILE I'M READING WITHOUT MAGNIFICATION. ANYONE WHO ACTUALLY GIVES A HOOT ABOUT MY USE OF CAPS NEEDS HELP! AND PRONTO!
Mattie January 08, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Wow, perhaps you need to refresh your "southern belle" charm school lessons.....
LA RUE January 08, 2012 at 02:07 PM
I'm with you Mattie.
SouthernBelle January 09, 2012 at 03:44 AM
wELl, at leAST that madE me Laugh MATTIe....yes,, need to refresh, CHARm schOOL lessONs, ALONg witH my EDUCATED OPINion, which of course was an uneducated ranT. bUT TO ME, it's so foolish to get upset over the caps. THE SUBJECT MATTER, HOWEVER, IS OF GREAT IMPORTAINCE TO ME, and I really care that these young crazy TV gang (I don't like their antics anymore than anyone else does), are being blamed for something that is not their fault. It would be best for TR and SSH to be rid of them in a way, but they are just a small portion of the problems being experiened in the towns. HAVE A BALL KIds. I'm done for the moment. When someone wants to have serious discussions, I'll get the emails and come to check on what's happening. I was hoping this forum would shake someone into doing something to make things better in our communities. oh, my, i've forgotten, WHAt rhYMEs with La Rue? Hmmm, aah, umm, oh well........must be something a "SOUTHERN BELLE" wouldn't say. Have a peachy weachy day poopsies.
Mattie January 09, 2012 at 01:39 PM
^ THAT ^ could be one of our neighbors...... frightening, isn't it?
LA RUE January 09, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Please tell us your a child around12 years.Your vocabulary, teenage attitude, and writing abilities say and show just that..If that is the case, we all understand.
BN January 09, 2012 at 02:03 PM
So Belle, what you're trying to tell us is that you are blind literally AND figuratively, right?
SouthernBelle January 10, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Thank you...You make a nice pair. Follow each other on the forum. As I said, too bad no one is interested in the subject matter. I'm 12, and possibly, I'm your neighbor. BTW LaRue, your writing abilities are questionable as well. You just about make a sentence. You're brilliant, just ask me! I'll point out your grammatical errors if you like. You probably would not be able to write more than a sentence. As I said, this is more about silliness, not interest in community, or interest in taking action against those really responsible for the problems at TR & SSH.
LA RUE January 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM
No comment.
karen v August 10, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Absolutely agree !! Who cares about portion when food stinks....
karen v August 10, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Not for anything but SSH has been going down WAY before Jersey Shore cast got there !! We should take a look there in the winter time and see what really goes on, not pretty !! Stupid Homeowners will rent to anyone in the winter, and I do mean ANYONE !! UGH !!

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