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Long Beach Native Billy Crystal Touts Tourism After Sandy

'Long Beach Is Open For Business' Ad Starts Airing This Weekend
Comedian Billy Crystal (credit : Al Bello/Getty Images)

Comedian Billy Crystal (credit : Al Bello/Getty Images)

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Superstorm Sandy

LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Why should you visit Long Beach? One celebrity is making it crystal clear.

Billy Crystal is going to bat for his hometown following the pummeling it took from Superstorm Sandy, appearing in a television ad campaign trumpeting “Long Beach is Open for Business.”

“I’m Billy Crystal and this is Long Beach, my hometown, come see us,” he says in the commercial. “Just 50 minutes to paradise by train from Manhattan and Brooklyn. Come on out to Long Beach, N.Y. this summer.”

Long Beach was devastated by the late October storm. Its 2-mile-long boardwalk was destroyed and hundreds of homes were damaged.

City officials said the comedian and “When Harry Met Sally” actor appeared in the ad for free and last month made a $1 million donation for rebuilding efforts.

“The City of Long Beach, its residents and merchants have worked countless long hours preparing for the summer beach season,” Scott J. Mandel, Long Beach City Council President, said in a statement. “Our new visitors television commercial is a fantastic visual representation of all that our city has to offer and shows off just how far we have come in our rapid redevelopment.”

The commercial is part of a $700,000 advertising campaign, which also includes radio, print, web and billboard ads.

The campaign’s first TV ad starring Crystal — who is a 1965 graduate of Long Beach High School — will begin airing this weekend in the New York City region.

The city has also created a new website for visitors visitlongbeachnewyork.com.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)