OCEAN COUNTY, NJ – The weather is beautiful, the water is warm and Ocean County’s tourism businesses are welcoming residents and visitors alike.
“Labor Day is not the end of the summer,” said Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, who is liaison to the Ocean County Office of Business Development and Tourism. “This year more than ever the season is being extended throughout September and into October.”
Vicari said several oceanfront towns have already announced that they will keep their beaches open and guarded into September.
“Locals have long known that our beaches are the best in September, with warm clean water from Point Pleasant Beach to Holgate.”
Governor Phil Murphy’s decision to reopen restaurants as of September 4 means diners can also experience something that was lacking all summer – an indoor meal.
“Restaurants and businesses are open, the beaches are clean and the extended forecast for September looks great,” Vicari said. “Summer is still here in Ocean County.”
Vicari suggested anyone heading for a municipal beach check with the town first for updates on the status of lifeguards and whether beach badges are required.
Both Seaside Heights and the Ortley Beach section of Toms River Township will keep lifeguards and beach badge checkers on duty during September weekends past Labor Day.
Officials from both towns have said they will reevaluate their plans depending on crowd size following the holiday weekend.
Vicari said he expects many tourism businesses to remain open for the month as well.
Local realtors have already said that September rentals are higher than usual and more on par with a typical July or August.
“This is an opportunity for our Mom and Pop businesses to make up some of the money they lost to COVID-19,” he said. “An extended season benefits everyone.”
Thanks to the loosening of some COVID-19 restrictions, movie theaters and other indoor entertainment venues are also re-opening with limited capacity.
Other traditionally summer events, such as the Surf City Farmer’s Market, have already extended their season through September.
A full listing of September and October events is available at http://www.oceancountytourism.com. Or follow them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/tourismoceancounty.
Vicari said tourism is a $5 billion industry in Ocean County and the cog of the local economy.
“Tourism helps keep our taxes low and employs our friends and neighbors,” he said.