Historic Grenville Hotel Reopens After Storm, But Still Worried About Future
The Grenville Hotel in Bay Head is reopening its doors after Sandy, but there is still a long road ahead for the historic location.
Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno visited the Route 35 hotel on Friday to remind New Jerseyans that the location is open for business and needs the public’s support.
The storm didn’t just affect the hotel’s regular winter clientele, co-owner Harry Typaldos notes there is apprehension by customers who aren’t sure if the shore will reopen.
“We lost all the bookings going into the springtime because people were unsure if we were going to be back.”
Typaldos asked the Lt. Governor to have the Grenville be a stop on her tour announcing that the “Shore Is Coming Back”. While many businesses survived the store, Typaldos says the bigger challenge seems to be getting the word out that places are reopen.
“It’s literally like she [Lt. Governor], or the first lady, or the Governor, are going to have to go to every single business as they reopen and say ‘This guy is open’.”
Typaldos notes that while their historic restaurant and hotel is reopen, in some ways, reopening was the easiest part.
“I never thought I would be filling out that much paperwork ever in my life, FEMA, SBA, every single agency that you’re trying to get help from.”
Harry and co-owner Renee Typaldos faced flooding after the storm that damaged their businesses wiring, elevator, and other aspects. While they have repaired most of it through flood insurance and their own funds, he notes they are still struggling to get money through the various agencies.
However it’s just one of the post storm decisions that Typaldos says is giving them more trouble than the winds and flooding ever did.
“One day it’s ‘Well you’re going to have to raise your home fourteen feet’, then the next day it’s “You’re going to have to raise it nine feet” and the day after that it’s “You might not have to raise it at all.””
For Typaldos, and many other shore businesses, their survival will be imperative on the public’s reaction this summer. He notes the public will need to not just “gawk” but actually come down and show they are “Jersey Strong”.
“Buy an ice cream, go to the restaurant, stay at the hotels.”
Typaldos says with Sandy long gone, but the future still uncertain for many businesses, “it’s the fear of the unknown that is scaring the hell out of everyone down here.”