Perfect Weather Equals Big Bucks for Shore Businesses
Mother Nature could not have been nicer to merchants along the Jersey shore this summer. Every weekend since the July 4 holiday has been rain-free at the shore, and businesses are cashing in.
A number of retail, food and entertainment establishments told us summer 2015 has been a "banner" or "comeback" season.
Matthew Riccelli, general manager of Gee Gee's along the beach in Manasquan, said business at the pizzeria is definitely up from last summer, thanks to fewer rainy weekend days, plus the absence of insanely-hot temperatures.
"I think one of the wonderful things is that we didn't get any 100-degree days," he said. "Once it really gets past 92-93 degrees, a lot of the families stay home and enjoy the air conditioning."
Activity has been so constant, in fact, that staff members are admittedly hoping for the skies to drop some precipitation every once in a while.
"The staff enjoys a day off occasionally," Riccelli said. "Otherwise, they're working 5-6 days a week and burning the candle at both ends."
Business is better than this time last year at the Posh Den, a clothing and jewelry store on the Asbury Park boardwalk. Owner Roy Werts said the numbers are up "a couple of percentage points," but his business isn't seeing as much of a spike as the local beach and parking revenue.
"It was a slow start, but summer's been consistent," Werts said.
This was the first full-force summer since Superstorm Sandy for Barnacle Bill's Amusements in Seaside Heights, and according to owner JoAnn Petruzel, pleasant weather forecasts paved the way for a successful season.
"We are very happy the way things turned out," she said. "The numbers are up a healthy percentage."
The restaurant-arcade-golf location could not open in 2013 due to substantial storm damage, and operations were limited in summer 2014.
"I really think that this year was a comeback, and I have a feeling that next year will be better, so things are on the right track," Petruzel said.