By Cleve Bryan
POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J., (CBS) – After three days of walking the boards in beach towns from Cape May County to Point Pleasant Beach, Governor Chris Christie took a few minutes to stop by one of his favorite watering holes, the Ark Pub and Eatery.
He told Eyewitness News this week was intended to gather information and spread encouragement at the shore.
“I knew that this summer was not going to be like the summer of 2012 so what I’m trying to gauge from walking around is to see how people feel like the summer’s been,” says Christie, “we had a really good summer just by having one.”
Christie says it is a great success that all of New Jersey’s public beaches were open for the summer considering the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. He credits the “Stronger than the Storm” advertising campaign with helping to keep afloat a $40 billion tourism industry that supports more than 500,000 Garden State jobs.
Christie gave two specific challenges he hopes to continue tackling at the Shore even after summer is over – housing and business loans.
“Well housing is the biggest thing – no question,” says Christie after meeting business owners who poured their time into keeping shops and restaurants open while still dealing with Sandy damage at home.
“I’ve been encouraging the businesses to use our business programs more than they have already and I’m hoping that they’ll do that,” says Christie.