High Hopes for Post-Sandy Summer Tourism Season [AUDIO]
Officials are hoping to put Sandy far behind them, but that may prove to be a difficult challenge with scars still visible up and down the coastline, thousands not back in their homes yet and some areas not ready for day trippers and extended out-of-towners.
"I feel this will be a great season. We have already some good news with a slew of phone calls and inquiries about spring and summer rentals. They were definitely down last year," said Robert Hilton, the executive director of the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Work continues at the shore to get boardwalks and beaches ready for the summer, including the fire damaged boardwalk in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights. A new advertising campaign is set to launch ahead of the Memorial Day holiday.
Hilton said there have also been requests made for non-beach related arts, music, and food events. "This can only booster what we're trying to do."
But one thing officials can't do anything about - the weather.
"I have reached out to weather experts who say because we had a wet and humid summer in 2013, and are having a wild and snowy winter, chances are the weather will be nice and warm and dry this coming summer," Hilton said.