By Steve Tawa
CAPE MAY, N.J. (CBS) — Businesses at the South Jersey shore are now part of a “Restore the Shore” effort, to encourage tourism dollars to remain in New Jersey despite the devastation that Superstorm Sandy wrought along some North Jersey beaches.
Today, at Convention Hall in Cape May, mayor Edward Mahaney said his town doesn’t want to profit at the expense of similar towns in North Jersey, but they want potential visitors who had planned to go to a North Jersey shore town — especially those from outside the immediate area — to know that most of the businesses here are open.
So, he advises, visitors can still plan a New Jersey vacation — just a bit farther south.
“They can come to Cape May county for the next year or so as a respite, until their normal vacation spot is available,” he said today.
Cape May County tourism director Diane Wieland says the idea is to keep tourism, a $35-billion-per-year industry in New Jersey, inside the state. Cape May takes in about $5 billion of that.
Officials here say schools, businesses, and communities have been holding fundraisers — as many as two or three per week — to gather food, clothing, and other necessities to send to their counterparts along the North Jersey coast.