The Deadline For Promoting Summer At The Jersey Shore Is Now, Freeholder Says
Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari doesn't want to lose valuable tourism dollars to competing states
"Virginia is for lovers." "The Outer Banks of North Carolina is an endless source of inspiration. Visit Outerbanks.org."
These are not the kind of commercials Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari wants to see flashing across television screens in Ocean County and along the East Coast, not if he can help it.
Vicari - who serves as liaison to the county's tourism bureau - is looking for the state to provide $3 million to produce commercials touting the Jersey Shore. And he wants it soon. Very soon.
"We lose it this season, they are not going to come back to Ocean County," Vicari said at an Ocean County Board of Freeholders meeting this afternoon."
The state needs to shore up its $4 billion tourism industry and let visitors know the Jersey Shore will be open in time for the summer, he said.
"That message has to go out now," Vicari said. "People will be planning their vacations."
Other states are already competing for New Jersey tourism dollars, airing commercials in January and February.
"I'm looking at $3 million to advertise outside of New Jersey and compete with other states," Vicari said after the meeting.
The good news is that 95 percent of Long Beach Island businesses plan to return this summer, Vicari said.
"Seaside Heights has some good signs," he said. "We want them to know that over the bridge is not forgotten."
But the advertising is needed as quickly as possible, Vicari said.
"If we lose this for one year, it will be very difficult to get it back," he said.
Vicari recently attended a meeting of small business owners in Ocean County. Many asked that municipalities make it easy as possible for businesses to rebuild or relocate, including waiving permits, he said.
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