From the beaches to the boardwalk and all the rides to the great local restaurants, shops, and businesses things are always busy but tremendous amounts of fun during the summer in Seaside Heights.

Things have been changing for years now since the party style days celebrated and influentially encouraged by the cast of 'Jersey Shore' that brought on a reputation the borough had no desire to have or maintain.

It's also why other Jersey Shore towns have turned down requests for that show or any follow-ups to it to be filmed around Ocean County.

There has been a thorough ongoing effort by the governing body and police department in Seaside Heights to make this Ocean County borough a family-friendly destination and put a stop to "Animal House" style parties and gatherings.

Seaside Heights Mayor Tony Vaz was a guest on Sunday morning on 'Shore Time with Vin and Dave' on 94.3 The Point and 105.7 The Hawk where he discussed those changes and all kinds of fun new happenings.

"The last four or five years, we've created a new image and we want it to be family oriented so a lot of our events deal with families, and the music is geared towards families and the youth but music that is popular to everyone's ears," Mayor Vaz tells Townsquare Media. "We created new activities in the last four/five years on the beach, at the end of June we'll have a sandcastle project that's being sponsored -- it'll be a first for Seaside Heights, we have camping on the beach, we have kite flying on the beach, we have tribute bands on the beach, we have Monday night concerts from Broadway to a variety of tribute bands on the Franklin Avenue boardwalk -- there's so many new activities."

Mayor Vaz explained that they've been working to improve the overall quality of life for people living and visiting Seaside Heights on a structural and entertainment front.

Casino Pier in Seaside Heights. (Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media NJ)
Casino Pier in Seaside Heights. (Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media NJ)
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"The storm of 2012 (Superstorm Sandy) made us rethink who we were and I'll be the first to admit we had a reputation of being honky-tonk, we had an opportunity to digest what was going on with the destruction of properties or rehabilitation of properties -- here was an opportunity for us to redevelop," Vaz said. "We started this project and everything was working out well and God worked with us and we found that the economy got better. With the economy getting better, people focused on redoing their properties or just demolishing them and starting anew."

The borough received visits from developers on how to restructure the community similar to other Jersey Shore towns.

It was also a desire to address the elephant in the room in Seaside Heights.

Crowd near the "Jersey Shore" house in Seaside Heights
Crowd near the "Jersey Shore" house in Seaside Heights in September of 2020 (OCSN)
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"We wanted to change that bar atmosphere, 'the Snooki days', we wanted to stop that fighting and so forth so we created new legislation and policies that dealt with rentals -- you must be 18 to rent, fines, and fines to owners, we clamped down on 'Animal Houses', so we focused on behaviors, change the behavior of your cliental -- they're either going to shape up or ship out or they're not going to come back and that's okay, because we don't need that type of problem and it's worked out well," Vaz said.

As part of the redevelopment plan in the borough, there has been a sort of changing of the guard with the types of living and work spaces being constructed in Seaside Heights.

Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels
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"We had a steel structure, which was a sight that everyone talked about, not only from our community members and business community but the tourists, 'what is that thing? get it down, it's near 10-years', well, between litigation with the state, with the property owner, we ended up going to court under eminent domain -- the structure is down -- now, the developers have come in, they bought it, and they're going to put up 70-units with retail on the bottom," Vaz said. "Across from them, was the old 'Karma', that's been sold and that's going to be structure and retail. Across from the old Bamboo -- that's down now -- that will be developed into 48-condos and retail. So, what we're going to see is a boulevard, I hope, in the next few years -- a walking boulevard where you can go to breakfast, lunch, dinner, you can go to a barber shop, a beauty parlor, there is a dress shop that just opened, you'll have fine food besides our traditional pizzas and sausage -- we'll have fine dining."

There are lots of fun and family-friendly events this summer in Seaside Heights than you can enjoy.

Sue Moll, Townsquare Media
Sue Moll, Townsquare Media
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"We have a schedule going Monday thru Sunday. On Monday nights, on the Franklin Avenue boardwalk -- and I must mention, 99-percent of the events I mention are FREE to the public -- on Monday nights on our Franklin Avenue stage, it's a variety, we have Billy Wilks, Jukebox Legends -- Sky's The Limit, Sounds of the Street, the Sax Man -- they're good entertainment," Vaz said. "On Tuesdays, we have kite flying on the beach, movies on the beach, we have fireworks every Wednesday. One of the things I enjoy are Friday nights with the Broadway on the stage on Franklin Ave, we bring in entertainers that are performing in New York City -- basically, they're musicals that we try to gather -- they come in, do a few songs from each. Thursday's we have our beach concerts, our tribute band concerts -- we'll have Captain Jack-Billy Joel, we'll have a Tom Petty tribute (band), we'll have AC/DC, Ultimate Van Morrison, a U2 tribute, Jimmy Buffett tribute, and an All American Brothers tribute -- all free."

You can listen to more and the full conversation Dave Crossan and I had with Seaside Heights Mayor Tony Vaz on 'Shore Time with Vin and Dave', right here.

Here are some great sunny, summer views of Seaside Heights

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