Shore Towns Struggle With Lost Tourism Dollars [AUDIO]
In addition to towns struggling to clean up after Superstorm Sandy, shore communities must deal with lost revenue as they work to rebuild before next summer.
The Jersey Shore is the economic engine that powers New Jersey’s $35 billion tourism industry.
“Now those tourism dollars have been lost…for the shoulder season and for the foreseeable future,” said Bill Dressel, executive director of the state League of Municipalities.
“Those businesses can longer rely on revenue that they needed to get them through the remainder of the year and they will have to start over,” he added.
He said it will be a big hit to the overall tourism industry in the state.
“We don’t know for sure what the total loss is for the shore region but its a lot of money, I mean towns are closed, virtually washed away, its a huge loss.”
He’s spoken with local mayors who said they will need a lot of help over the next several months.
“The cost of recovery is unprecedented and it couldn’t come at a worse possible time given the dire fiscal condition that our state was in even prior to the storm.”
Dressel said it will take time and money for shore towns to rebuild and they will need both federal and state help to do it.
“We have mayors expending money, writing checks, taking out loans. Local officials will have to rely on money from the federal government and leverage dollars from the state government and hopefully they will get some relaxation as far as state permits go so they can rebuild quickly.”