SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Jersey Shore communities issued a dire progress report on the last weekend of the summer. Some towns announced that they had lost millions of dollars in beach revenue in 2013 despite a massive summer ad campaign.
Sandy’s wrath was still visible in Mantaloking on Friday. Mounds of debris sat where homes once stood hundreds of yards away from beach goers enjoying the the water, CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported.
Almost all of the 520 homes in Mantaloking were destroyed by Sandy. Fifty-six are gone, another 50 were knocked down.
“This is an amazing undertaking. Phenomenal. Although difficult to watch,” Denise Boughton said.
Officials said that the work was far from over.
“We still have three to four bulldozers working on a regular basis,” Office of Emergency Management spokesman Chris Niebling said.
Little damage remains in Seaside Heights where the boardwalk has already been rebuilt. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appeared in Seaside over Labor Day Weekend to promote the shore and greet fans, but he was also confronted by residents who still need help.
“We need help in Ortley Beach. I wish you would go. It’s the next town over,” one person said.
Business is down 40 percent in shore towns in spite of a $25-million “Stronger Than The Storm” ad campaign, the governor said. Christie has defended his controversial appearance in the ads.
“I knew all along when the ad company recommended I’d be in the ads that it was going to be controversial. But I also know that for better or for worse for New Jersey right now there’s nobody more identified in the state than I am. If I had not done it, it would have been political,” Gov. Christie said.
Residents were torn over whether the ads helped.
“I think the advertising helped galvanize the spirit,” arcade and bar owner Wayne Cimorelli said.
Others were not so sure.
“It might have helped some of the merchants here, but for the rest of us it was not worth it,” Cathy Cosenzia said.
In Cosenzia’s town of Ortley Beach, beach tag sales were down 84 percent. In Brock Township tag sales were down 58 percent. In Monmouth and Ocean County losses were at a combined $4 million.
Christie said that he plans to promote the Jersey Shore any way that he can.
Businesses said that with summer coming to a close there is no way that they can recoup their costs.
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