There seems to be a greater number of people visiting the Asbury Park area this summer — perhaps because of the good weather, an improving economy, publicity, things to do.
But whether businesses profited from this seems to be the type of businesses being discussed.
“I think more people are here,” said Brenda Connolly, president of the Bradley Beach Chamber of Commerce. “If you go out on a Saturday or Sunday, you can’t even park.”
Kay Harris, owner of Asbury Galleria in Asbury Park’s Convention Hall agrees.
“Even during the weekdays, a lot of people on the beach,” Harris said.
Thomas Gilmour, Asbury Park’s director of economic development, said beach attendance is up 20 percent in the city and restaurants are doing well.
“In some of the restaurants, they have to wait to be seated,” Gilmour said.
Peter Mantas, entertainment director at the Langosta Lounge on the Asbury Park Boardwalk estimated the restaurant’s business is “up by at least 10 percent.”
“It’s definitely up (in general in the area), because we’ve had wonderful weather, the economy seems to be getting a little better,” Mantas said. “I see a lot of new faces (on customers) and a lot of old faces.”
“I’ve heard the same anecdotal stories, business is up,” said Rebecca Cavanaugh, incoming director of the Ocean Grove Chamber of Commerce. “The weather’s been good, we’re booked every weekend. Everybody’s been telling me business is up.”
Gilmour said an area, however, that might be struggling is retail.
“Retail is tough right now, no matter where you are,” Gilmour said. “Competition.”
People who come to the beach do not necessarily shop retail, Gilmour said.
But Harris said her Asbury Galleria, which sells Asbury Park and Jersey Shore memorabilia, along with beach items, is doing well. She had a great May.
“May was up like 100 percent,” Harris said.
Harris figures the Asbury Galleria has rebounded this summer to where it was at in 2012, pre-Superstorm Sandy. But Harris said she could not say for sure the rebound is because of Sandy recovery.
Perhaps any increase in traffic to the Asbury Galleria is because she tweaked business, such as putting more emphasis on beach items for sale.
“People waiting for Asbury to come back have decided Asbury is back,” Mantas said.
Why the flow of people?
“Weather, events, there’s activities,” Harris said.
In Bradley Beach, Connolly said, “I think they discovered our town.”
Connolly said that could be so because Bradley Beach was profiled in New Jersey Monthly magazine’s Shore issue.
“They come here, they like it, they come back,” Connolly said.