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Ocean County Tourism Assures You We Are Open

County tourism department says area amusements and attractions not among those hard hit

Come visit. We’re here and open.

That’s the message the Ocean County Tourism department was pushing in the days between Hurricane Irene’s retreat and Labor Day’s onset.

No, the boardwalks are not destroyed. All attractions and amusements are open, to attract and amuse you.

Ocean County Tourism and Public Affairs Director Barbara Steele said tourism offices have been flooded with callers wanting to verify that there’s a boardwalk to come to.

She assures you, we are open. Ocean County is open for business.

“In Ocean County, virtually everybody in the tourism areas tell me they are up and running. I'm not sure how Mother Nature selected what she was going to hit the hardest, but I do know we fared better than most in our tourism areas along the coast,” Steele said in an email.

She used Point Pleasant Beach as an example. That’s the name of the town, but when possible vacationers hear Point Pleasant Beach has power outages, they assume it is the beachfront, Steele said.

“When people hear/read that the Point Pleasant Beach has no electricity, they assume it's the boardwalk because that's what they know best...when it's really the backtown residential area. Both the Point Pleasant Beach Chamber and I have gotten calls asking about the boardwalk and it was up and running on Monday. “

Seaside Heights is the same, she said.
“I just got a call from a family visiting Seaside Heights. The person couldn't find one thing that was closed on the boardwalk. He said it was a beautiful day and people are on the beach, the boardwalk is open and the amusements are operating,” said Steele.

One beachfront business hit hard managed to open earlier this week: Joey Harrison’s Surf Club in Ortley Beach.

While they canceled their events from Saturday to Monday earlier this week, the oceanfront club was back to rocking on Thursday and has a full line-up of events planned for the weekend. Most are the usual daytime entertainment of the Flying Mueller Brothers and last weekend’s rescheduled Sensational Soul Cruisers.

The club sustained damage to its beachfront bar, but the inside dance floor, staff announced, was ready to sustain a Friday “Endless Summer Bash,” a Saturday “Four at the Shore” and Sunday “Summer Closing Party.”

Toms River Township Administrator Paul Shives said many callers also reached out to the township even early in the week to make sure the beaches were open.

Toms River's ocean front Ortley Beach was open Monday, Shives said.

"We were able to do it," Shives said. "I was surprised."

He said Labor Day Weekend will go on as scheduled, with a full staff of lifeguards for all Toms River's beaches and the municipal pool.

Dev Durer September 03, 2011 at 01:50 AM
I love the Clerks reference. Clever!
guy September 03, 2011 at 03:02 AM
I was at Ortley Beach on Monday to surf some of Irenes leftover waves. I was surprised that they were checking badges and charging to get on the beach as there was maybe 100 people on the entire beach. Surfing and boogie boarding with fins was allowed anywhere you wanted .There were no lifeguards on stands, they were standing on the boardwalk. They were not allowing any swimming, only ankle depth, even though it was an extremely low tide with a huge sandbar. If you wanted to swim you could walk down to Lavallette where the guards were on stands and also in the water watching the swimmers. I was there again on Tuesday and they were again charging to get on the beach. The guards were back on the stands but in limited numbers and now they were letting bathers in about ten feet from shore but not allowing them on the sandbar. Now Thursday I go back again for some surfing and there are NO badge checkers and they are not charging to get on the beach. So my question is why am I paying $50.00 for a season badge and not getting the same service all the way through Labor Day. When I went to the beach in the beginning of July they had 4 lifeguards per stand. Year after year, for the past 17 years, it's the same old story at Ortley Beach, all kinds of staff in the beginning of the summer and next to no staff at the end of the summer. Yet the price of a season beach badge continues to rise.
Sean Conneamhe September 03, 2011 at 09:35 AM
Local economists say that if you want to increase tourism, then stop charging to get on the beach.
Barnegat Ray September 03, 2011 at 12:26 PM
Most beaches in this country are free...NJ should get with the program...
1stcav September 03, 2011 at 01:26 PM
The "right of Way " owners would then have to spend the winter here and shovel snow with the loosers...That's why they charge you to use " your beaches" cause they can ! Until laws are change that give them the right to let you cross " That " line in the sand , and charge you ! Ask CC how that happened ???I know Chris , not on your watch, but the people want a free tax payer beach...
Catherine Galioto (Editor) September 03, 2011 at 08:47 PM
I couldn't resist.

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