Jersey Shore Hotels putting out the Welcome Mat for Sunday’s Haskell Invitational
The $1 million William Hill Haskell Invitational usually attracts a large crowd to Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, but with this year's event featuring Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, hotels are putting out the welcome mat.
Robert Hilton, Executive Director of the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau in Neptune, said hotels are doing really well.
"There's a lot of hotels that have filled up already, but we still have room," said Hilton.
In fact, Hilton estimated there's about 5,600 hotel rooms between Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
"If people can't find what they're looking for, they can always give us a call and we can lead them into the right direction," Hilton said.
The JSCVB has fielding a higher call volume from people living out-of-state and in New Jersey looking to stay for the Haskell, according to Hilton.
"There has been an increase in phone calls looking for hotel rooms around the Long Branch and Oceanport area. The phone calls that we get are pretty much people that want to stay right next to the racetrack," Hilton said.
While many of those hotels may be booked already, Hilton noted there are options 10 minutes away in Eatontown.
Hilton also pointed out that many people that visit the Jersey Shore for its beaches also stay for the entertainment and the culture.
"Of course, Monmouth Park Racetrack is part of that culture, so I think there's an increase in traffic to Monmouth Park anyway this year, and having great horses come in makes it even better," Hilton added.