By Jay Lloyd

By Jay Lloyd

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A vital piece of Cape May is celebrating a bicentennial this year and drawing attention to the fascinating history of the Jersey shore.

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It was a playground for 19th and 20th century presidents. But how do you take a 200 year old resort like Congress Hall and marry tradition with modern day visitor interests?

Congress Hall cocktail lounge. (credit: Jay Lloyd)

Congress Hall cocktail lounge.
(credit: Jay Lloyd)

Curtis Bashaw, whose vision brought the hall into the 21st century, started with 21st century amenities, including a spa.

“But we’ve kept the things that people love the most. And that’s the memories, the traditions and the feelings of a bygone era,” Bashaw reassures.

An era when Ulysses S. Grant walked through the solid wooden doors that still welcome guests to a new world of a music filled cocktail lounge, present day dining, and a lively nightclub in a beachfront setting. But memories of the past blend with today.

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Congress Hall's 19th century oak doors. (credit: Jay Lloyd)

Congress Hall’s 19th century oak doors.
(credit: Jay Lloyd)

“We’re not a museum. We’re a modern resort,” said Bashaw.

And a resort for the ages.

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