It seems that severe weather and natural disasters have been taking over the news in the last few years, from sinkholes to tornadoes to “superstorm” hurricanes. In the Northeast, the New Jersey shore, or simply “the shore” as New Jerseyans prefer to call it, was one of the locations nearly devastated by the effects of Hurricane Sandy last October.
My family lives two hours north of Atlantic City, New Jersey. If you dared to go outside even for a few seconds during the hurricane, you could clearly smell the salt water from the ocean. (I ran out mid-day on Monday for just a few seconds to secure a door when the smell of the ocean came over me.) Monday night as I lay in the dark listening to the howling, scary winds, I could not help but wonder what was taking place at the shore if the storm was this strong two hours away.
Since that horrible October night, officials and volunteers have done tremendous work in clearing debris, trying to get folks back into their homes and getting the New Jersey shore ready in time for beach season. Last year, summer tourism at New Jersey’s shores accounted for nearly half of New Jersey’s $38 billion in tourism revenue. According to the New York Times, Atlantic City has lost at least nine conventions because of the storm, accounting for 23,000 canceled hotel-room reservations and $31 million in spending. And that does not account for the millions of vacations taken at the shores each summer, which are in question this year due to the aftermath of the storm.
So the first week in June, a group of bloggers (including myself) are headed to the shore to show some “Jersey Love” and to show firsthand why folks should not give up on the New Jersey shoreline. We will be experiencing a taste of what the shore has to offer, taking lots of photos and sharing our experience via social media.
Dawn Sandomeno of PartyBluprints.com, one of the organizers of the retreat, experienced the devastation of the hurricane firsthand when the homes on her very own street were destroyed. Hosted by Caesar’s Entertainment and D6 Sports, the Jersey Love Retreat is designed to encourage consumers like you to visit the Jersey Shore. The retreat includes activities such as a wine tasting, lighthouse tour and a beach day with skimboard and surf lessons. There will also be a very special presentation with the mayor of Belmar, NJ, one of the hardest hit towns along the state’s shoreline.