BELMAR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — For many, Labor Day weekend is one last chance to hit the sand and surf, before saying so-long to summer.
In Belmar, beachgoers were getting a head start on the holiday weekend.
Traffic on the parkway and Route 35 wasn’t bad, but towns were crowded despite a mixed forecast, and business owners were hoping people would stay down for one last summer weekend.
There was a refreshing breeze as families strolled the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, and even the dogs were enjoying a day in the sun, but the weekend may not be as picturesque.
“We are from about an hour north, came down to spend the week with family, the weather didn’t deter us from coming,” Hared Bonica said.
Owners of the Buoy 16 Motel said they had quite a few cancellation calls.
“Once we have bad weather it’s a loss to business, most people like coming nice sunny days,” Yasser Vesar said.
Maruca’s Pizza Pie staff was twirling dough and praying for crowds of vacationers.
“When it’s raining the only customers we get is the seagulls,” Sciprain said.
For other business owners like Wayne Cimorelli, the clouds may draw more patrons into Spicy’s Bar and Restaurant.
“Sometimes on weekends like this I’ll do a little more business than others, people like the rides outside,” he said.
Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz said sales have been slightly down this summer due to rainy weekend forecasts.
“The arcade guys tend to like when it’s not sunny out, the beach like us at the borough like sun,” he said.
Same for Point Pleasant.
“I think August was the best month. July seemed a little bit slow, we fought the weather forecasts a little bit, but something seemed to kick in in August, so it’s been better,” one person said.
If things clear up, beachgoers can expect to see yellow flags.
“A lot of holes out there, sand is still moving, so the potential rip is still there,” Lavallette Beach Patrol, Captain Bob Tormollan said.
But there’s still lots to do.
“Golf, the water park, arcade, boardwalk, the rides,” Robert Rosen said.
And shopping. It was hard to find an open parking spot on 3rd Ave in Spring Lake.
“I look forward to a little cloud now and then, just to chase them off,” Tony Wbere, Another Angle, Spring Lake said.
In Belmar, beach sales have been down, but small businesses have reaped the benefits.
“Mother Nature did not cooperate, weekend doesn’t look like it’s going to cooperate,” Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty said.
Each town differs on sales. In Manasquan, the beach manager said sales are on par with last year’s, the mayor of Seaside Heights wanted to remind people that this may be the unofficial end of summer, but September and October are still great months to enjoy the shore. There are food and wine festivals, and concerts from Seaside to Belmar.