Hurricane Sandy’s tentacles lashed at New Jersey’s coastline, but business owners want tourists to know they’ll be open this summer.
“We have to try to get the word out to let (visitors) know we are here and are ready to go,” Ron Mahan, owner of the Windswept Motel in Point Pleasant Beach, told the Press of Atlantic City.
Still recovery varies along the state’s 217-mile coastline.
“The story of the shore is really complex,” Lori Pepenella, destination marketing director for the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, told the newspaper. “You have the southern shore that wasn’t really damaged, you have LBI that has been working hard to get ready, and then when you go north there is a lot more that needs to be addressed.”
But even merchants in hard-hit areas have found creative ways to keep business flowing.
Ronny Yefet, who owns a T-shirt shop in Seaside Heights, tried to draw tourists — and customers — who want to look at the damage in town by building a railing next to his store on the boardwalk.
“A lot of people grew up (coming) here, and for them to see the Boardwalk the way it was, it was devastating,” Yefet told the Press of Atlantic City. “Thank God we see the end, we see the light. We’re pumped. We’ll be ready.”