ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — The holiday weekend is coming to a close. In Cape May and at shore towns across the country, beachgoers are saying goodbye to the summer season.
Due to the pandemic, it’s been unlike anything we’ve experienced before.
So how are businesses doing down the shore?
The best way to answer how businesses have done this holiday weekend is to just take a look at the scene from Monday. So many people are on the boardwalk, going in and out of shops and restaurants and the casinos in Atlantic City.
“Everybody got smiles on their faces, it’s a good vibe out here,” one person said.
From the casino floor of Caesars Palace in Atlantic City to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, beachgoers are waving goodbye to another summer as Labor Day winds down.
“Just hang out, enjoy the sun, play some games,” said Ryan Berton, who was visiting from Hamden, Connecticut.
In Ocean City, families flocked to the boardwalk Monday.
“The boardwalk’s really fun,” Susan Berton said.
“What’s your favorite part about coming to OC?” asked CBS3’s Matt Petrillo.
“Doing rides and spending time with family,” said Taylor Openshaw.
The lingering pandemic means this summer looked different with many people wearing masks and keeping physically distant. But they’re still able to enjoy that delicious boardwalk food.
At Litterer’s Food Court, the inside dining that’s now OK means more business.
“Yesterday, today, we had a good day for us, you know,” said Ike Shahid.
In Wildwood Crest, some visited for the dolphin-watching.
“You’re on a boat that’s out there and they take you out and try to find a dolphin, which they do every time. That’s been my favorite,” one person said.
There are 15 weeks between Memorial and Labor Day. Now the question this season has become why stop at 15? The sun has set on Labor Day but shore towns are not going dark.
Usually, shore visitors die down after Labor Day, but the mayor of Wildwood Crest expects a bump over the next several weeks, as some people squeeze out a maximum amount of beach time.
“The weather is still beautiful. From the local perspective, it’s the best time at the beach — less traffic,” said Mayor Don Cabrera.
In Strathmere, shoregoers enjoyed a holiday evening outdoors at Twisties Tavern on the Bay.
“I’m working from home so I have a home here and I make this the home I work from. I came down on Memorial Day and I’m not going back any time soon,” Pat Mahon said.
That’s the story for a number of people who are now choosing to stay down the shore because they now work or even attend school remotely.
“I think my backdrop right here is the backdrop of many virtual offices and classrooms that you’re going to see throughout the fall and maybe even into late October,” said Ocean City Beach Patrol Chief Mark Jamieson.
Ocean City is among the Jersey Shore destinations that will continue with guarded beaches on select streets through the end of September. It’s an extension made easier thanks to the college-age guards not having to physically return to school.
“We actually have more staff available for the post-Labor Day season than ever,” Jamieson said.
As strange and challenging of a spring and summer as this one was, not having to say goodbye so soon is offering a boost to the morale of many.
“It’s like home to us and when we come here, we feel like it’s home,” one visitor said.
CBS3’s Matt Petrillo and Alexandria Hoff contributed to this report.