Web Exclusive: Jersey Shore making Memorial Day Weekend Comeback

Web Exclusive

 

(CNN) - Nearly seven months after Hurricane Sandy damaged much of the Jersey Shore, the popular beach destination is again open for business.  Memorial Day weekend is turning out to be a good dry run with the summer vacation season still ahead.  The games are back on in Seaside Heights.

"Oh it's back, it's back," says a resident. "We're back not back 100 percent," chimes in a man. "But we're back," the woman happily recalls.  

And the people who came back liked what they saw. "Oh it's great! It's really good to see everything back to where it used to be, almost close to where it used be," says another woman.  Almost, because the rebuilding continues nearly seven months after Sandy tore up much of the Jersey Shore.  Vincent Storino's family owns Casino Pier.  Before Sandy, it held 38 rides.  "We've made tremendous progress.  In three months, we've done what should take three years, says Vincent Storino. 

It hasn't come cheap. "It's millions. I would say tens of millions," says Storino. 

The new boardwalk alone cost close to Eight million dollars. "We did what we had to do to get the doors open to let the people know that Seaside Heights is open, But there are so many more things we got to do," says Mayor Bill Akers, Seaside Heights, NJ.

 

 

Still on the to do list: more benches and lights, but mayor Bill Akers is satisfied.  "You can walk the boardwalk north to south and it seems like we got a few people up here today enjoying it," says Mayor Akers.

A few people less than a typical Memorial Day weekend hit the boardwalk. "I would say we're doing about half what we did last year," says Charlie Draper, a store manager on the boardwalk. That hasn't dampened spirits, though.  "I mean, look around, you couldn't ask for better weather.  You couldn't ask for more people.  This is great."  

"This is the golden goose, Lucky Leo's," says Steve Whalen, owner Lucky Leo's Arcade.  "We knew it was going to be slow, but just the idea that we're here that truly is the remarkable thing."  What a way to ring in 100 years on the boardwalk.

 


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