Beach passes brought Monmouth County more than $23.7 million in revenue this summer, an 11 percent spike from the 2018 season.
Some towns had double digit growth in revenue, including a 28 percent increase in Sea Bright, a 24 percent increase in Manasquan, and a 20 percent increase in Asbury Park.
Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone, liaison to the Department of Public Information and Tourism, said in a press conference Tuesday that the county has received positive feedback from municipalities, businesses, residents and visitors.
Lucky Dog Surf Co. owner Melissa D’Anna said she experienced a big increase in sales this summer.“The summer was booming, it was pretty crazy. I had to hire more staff and overall it was insane, honestly, in a good way,” she said.
Lucky Dog is in Sea Bright. This was the first summer for town’s new boardwalk, which D’Anna called “just a really nice touch to the town.”
The shop, in its third year of business, is open year round with the exception of January, and in the summer offers surf lessons and surf camp.
“That exploded this year as well. We had amazing weather, which I think was part of the success for everybody on the shore, but hopefully if the weather holds up, we’ll do even better next summer,” D’Anna said.
In addition to the good weather—summer 2019 had only two rainy weekends, compared to 11 rainy weekends in summer 2018—Arnone chalks some of the increase up to lower gas prices. Gas prices in the Northeast were 22 to 55 cents cheaper in 2019 than in 2018, and the national gas price average for Labor Day weekend was the lowest in three years, according to AAA.
It’s not all weather and gasoline, though.
“While gas prices and the weather do affect the numbers each year, they cannot take all of the credit for all of the success,” said Arnone. “It is important to acknowledge the hard work and the successful marketing campaigns put forth by our municipalities and tourism partners, which are a true driving force behind the record-breaking revenues.”