Monmouth County Freeholders want you to “Know Before You Go” to the beach
Before you head to your favorite beach and boardwalk in Monmouth County this summer, there's information that you need to "Know Before You Go."
There's no doubt about it, we are heading into a new normal and a different kind of summer than any of us are accustomed to seeing this time every year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent rules, regulations and guidelines in affect across the state.
Monmouth County Freeholders have organized all of that information for each of their beach towns so you can go on your computer or mobile device at home and check on what's open and closed before you take a drive to your favorite summer spot.
Freeholder Director Tom Arnone explains that by taking a look at visitmonmouth.com before you hit the road, you'll know information including which beaches are open and which ones are closed which is just as important for residents to know as tourists who visit the Jersey Shore.
"Before you get in your car and you come from the north or the south, know before you go because you could be wasting a trip. You could come all the way to one of your favorite destinations and drive all the way to one of our popular beaches and see that you can't get on this week, this week you might not be able to get on," Arnone said. "Instead of coming all the way down here and being angry, we're going to give you the tool to know what's going on. Is it all seasonal badges, are they limited daily? Are there parking changes?...all those will be on our county website."
In Belmar, Mayor Mark Walsifer knows that many people who've been stuck at home are excited and ready to head to the beach and boardwalk this summer.
"When that sun comes out and it's up to 70 degrees, it's like trying to hold the ocean back," Walsifer said. "People are cooped up and they want to get out and come walk on the boardwalk."
When you come to the beach in Belmar, Mayor Walsifer asks that you follow the rules so their beaches can stay open all summer.
"We don't want the governor before July 4th weekend to say 'you guys can't handle it, we're shutting everything down'," Walsifer said. "We need the cooperation from everybody. You can come to the beach and have a good summer, but you have to help us out too and you have to take a little bit of responsibility and social distance for us."
Freeholder Director Arnone warns tourists who like to visit the Jersey Shore and Monmouth County beaches that there's a new normal this summer with new rules to be followed.
"Come to the Jersey Shore but know that it's different and respect our law enforcement when they tell you it's different because they're going to tell you it's different," Arnone said. "That's going to be their new job now. They've always done it very well but now they have an added burden on them."
Monmouth County collected more than $23.7-million in beach revenue last summer which was an 11-percent increase from the summer of 2018.
With an economy at the Jersey Shore and across the State of New Jersey in some trouble, it won't be easy long term for a typical thriving summer community like Monmouth County long-term.
"It's going to be tough but people have to realize that it won't effect municipalities this year, it's going to be in their 2021 budget and that's going to be a big issue but ultimately safety and health come first," Arnone said. "We have to take care of that first. Am I trying to make the best decision for both (health and economy)? Absolutely, but if I see something's not right, I have no problem changing it real quick."