This is normal? Several motels for sale right now in NJ’s Wildwoods
🏨 Some motels are available for $3 million
🏨 Mom-and-pop owners want to see who will bite
🏨 This happens every year, analysts say
WILDWOOD — Is the Doo Wop reputation being threatened in the Wildwoods?
Several motel properties are listed for sale on the island. And each feature at least a hint of the classic architectural design that makes the area such a unique stop along with the Jersey Shore.
The Aruba Motel, located along Surf Ave. in North Wildwood, is available for less than $3 million. The Beach Terrace Motor Inn, located a block from the Wildwood beach and boardwalk, is listed at $11.8 million, and includes a full service restaurant/bar with a liquor license.
Apparently, this is no cause for concern, and a fire sale of properties is a yearly tradition in the offseason.
Here are some listings for motel/hotel properties for sale on the island:
Starfire Motel, Ocean Ave. ($3.25 million)
Casa Del Sol Motel, Ocean Ave. ($3 million)
The Aruba Motel, Surf Ave. ($2.6 million)
Isle of Palms, Atlantic Ave. ($6.4 million)
Oceanic Hotel and Barefoot Bar, Ocean Ave. ($10 million)
Beach Terrace Motor Inn with restaurant/bar, Atlantic Ave. ($11.8 million)
Doo Wop alive and well in the Wildwoods
According to John Donio, president of the Doo Wop Preservation League, it's typical to see 10 to 12 hotel/motel properties listed for sale on the island in the wintertime.
"But this is the first time that social media has picked up on it," Donio said.
Many of these properties that have been around for decades are mom-and-pop-owned. They test the market by listing the property, to see if they can get solid bites.
"You also have new buyers coming in, who are interested in the island," Donio said.
Compared to other spots along the shore, Donio said, Wildwood properties are a bargain. Plus, purchasers can count on generations' worth of clients who automatically come for days or weeks each year.
If a property is snagged, business leaders and advocates educate buyers and developers about the branding of the Wildwoods and the appeal of the mid-century architectural design that helped to put the island on the map (along with its rock-and-roll history).
Ben Rose, director of marketing for the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority, said the Doo Wop culture is essentially "the identity" of the island. And a patch of motel sales is not an indication of the beginning of the end.
"There may be some people that say it's outdated ... but we don't want to be a cookie-cutter destination," Rose said. "We want to be different. We want to be kitschy. It gives us our character and flavor."
Donio, who owns Daytona Inn & Suites, added that properties can easily be upgraded on the inside — WiFi and flat-screen televisions, for example — without compromising the classic design and look on the exterior.
Donio is an investor in the former Oceanview Motel, which has been purchased and renamed Madison Resort Wildwood Crest. It's undergoing a modernization but will still have the look and feel of a property built in the 1960s.
"It really is the brand of Wildwood and Wildwood Crest, and we want to keep that tradition," Donio said.
Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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