• Ocean County Tourism Still Going Strong

     
    POSTED October 8, 2015
     

Ocean County’s tourism industry in New Jersey continues to get bigger and bigger. And, according to Joseph H. Vicari, freeholder and chairman, Department of Business Development and Tourism, there’s nowhere to go but up.

 “Tourism is a $4.3 billion industry in Ocean County, but by the end of this year I’m predicting it will be at $4.4 billion,” he says. “Every dollar that tourism brings into the county circulates seven times, providing jobs, paying taxes and strengthening our local economy.”

Reports show this past summer was strong, with visitors prominently visiting the beaches and business Ocean County has to offer.

 “Our number one draw is still our 44 miles of coastline and beaches,” says Vicari. “But people also come for the museums, the farmlands, Six Flags and the Lakewood Blue Claws.”

Those visitors are a boom for local businesses, the vast majority of which are small Mom and Pop stores, restaurants and other establishments. Vicari, who serves as Chairman of the Department of Business Development and Tourism, said he’s worked closely with local businesses, and chambers of commerce to entice more visitors to the county.

But the success doesn’t stop with the coming of fall.

“Our season lasts all year,” says Vicari. “There is always something to do in Ocean County. The fall brings with it such popular events as Chowderfest in Beach Haven, the Decoy and Gunning Show in Tuckerton, pumpkin picking in Plumsted and the Seaside Heights Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival.”

Portland will be home to the first Ritz-Carlton in the Pacific Northwest. Developer BPM Real Estate Group is bringing the brand to the city, with an anticipated opening in early 2023. Plans call for a 35-story tower with 251 hotel rooms and 138 residential units, including eight penthouses.

 

Retreats and off-site meetings present wonderful opportunities for groups to collaborate, strategize and build relationships away from their normal office environments. With proper planning, these sessions can be highly effective and even pivotal in setting a new direction. However, off-sites may present some unforeseen challenges that can quickly deflate the energy in the room if not anticipated and addressed in advance.

 

Even during a worldwide pandemic, the hospitality industry is working to make people feel at ease. Though many hotels can only open their doors to health care workers and first responders, they’re reaching out to their local communities with bright messages in clever, socially-distanced ways. Through the heart-shaped lighting of windows at night, hotels are serving as beacons of hope in cities across the country.