OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) – The ceremonial key used to unlock the door to summer is a tradition at Ocean City. The real key to success in Ocean City is people.

Often times, those people are looking for cheaper places to stay near the shore. Temple student Ryan Johnson and his friends rented a three-bedroom condo for the Memorial Day weekend and found it on Craig’s List.

“We got it for 500 bucks,” said Johnson. “It’s a great place.”

Bert Eggly who owns a home on Wesley Avenue has been renting out his home since 1995. He wouldn’t tell us how much he charges.

“I’d say we’re pretty reasonable. It’s probably one of reasons we get people to return here year, after year,” said Eggly.

Ocean City Board of Realtors President Nick Marotta took us inside what he calls your standard condo. He says on average, a three-bedroom 2-bath near the shore, will cost about $1,600 to $2,000 per week.
According to Marotta, the rental market is up from last year.

“Anywhere from 12 to 15 percent,” said Marotta.

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He says last year’s great weather had people booking early for this summer. High gas prices have only helped resorts like Ocean City.

For a chance to win a free summer vacation at Ocean City, enter the Free 7-Day Family Summer Vacation contest at oceancityvacation.com.

Reported by Jericka Duncan, CBS 3

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