Monmouth in Focus: October 2019 Full Episode


Hello and welcome to Monmouth in Focus, a program about the services and functions of Monmouth County Government. I’m Cynthia Scott, your host for Monmouth in Focus, and even though the summer
season is over, Monmouth County attractions, sights and events will keep
residents and visitors entertained and coming back for more all year long. Today
we are joined by Freeholder Director Tom Arnone who serves as the liaison to
county tourism and he’s here to talk about the 2019 summer season and what
lies ahead for the four season destination. Welcome, thanks so much for
joining us. Thank you, it’s great to be here. Always great to see you and always
great to talk about tourism, a popular topic here in Monmouth County.
How was they 20 19 summer tourism season? So as you can go by I guess you could
gauge it on two things, first of all the traffic was unbelievable, but that’s a good thing for our business
climate, but most importantly the weather we really were very fortunate
and and that dictates a lot of your your successor and obviously it’s out of our
control the weather there but this year I think we had like two weekends where
we had some rain there but besides that we had stellar weather beautiful
sunshine and the one weekend it probably was a little rough was the weekend that
we had it where it was like over a hundred degrees because people wanted to
stay inside their house but besides that we had great weather and and great success this
year Yeah what kind of feedback have you heard from our tourism partners? So we really don’t get those numbers in all the all the numbers that we actually
gauge it on but what we have heard is Manasquan and we speak with Manasquan
and and our tourism director Amanda Stone speaks with them regularly and we hear
they exceeded their numbers from 2018 and I know Asbury Park the businesses I
was fortunate enough to do a another event with a lot of businesses food
establishments this year and it was called Restaurant Week all right so
I was able to see and talk to them about how their summer was going and they were expecting huge numbers yeah this year when the final countdown
and I know just the beach revenue from what I understand Asbury park’s roughly
about 300,000 over last year that’s great
that’s great so it’s all looking up that’s all positive and you know we
don’t stop we keep building and you know I’ll have some closeout numbers soon. You
know it’s great that you hold the press conference at the beginning of the
summer prior to Memorial Day weekend and then you hold the press conference at
the end of the summer yeah last month I held a conference at the Ocean Wave
in Long Branch I have to tell you when you go down to Pier Village and I was
there for again for Restaurant Week there that was one of the restaurants
that we hosted there and it’s amazing it’s amazing you’re in Monmouth
County yeah and you truly sit out there and not just Long Branch but all along
the shore and you see the types of venues that are there you know and we
know why people are attracted to come to Monmouth County. And you bring up such a good point because we have you know numerous beaches but they’re all unique they are
all different when you go from Manasquan to Sandy Hook yeah and you look at
the rules and regulations, the cost, the way they’re operated some of the
restrictions that are there they’re all different and it’s good because
everybody can make their choice on what ones they go and you know we can’t
forget about the Bay Shore sure because we have taken another approach this year
it’s always been geared that the tourism season is geared to the shore so
we had a we had our opening meeting or in during the winter and the Bay Shore
came in and quite frankly the Bay Shore was like listen please include us and we
we held one of our the kickoff of this summer season there and they were
extremely thankful and I have to tell you they’ve had a great year and I tell
you we have to promote the Bay Shore, what they’re doing out there is is really
fabulous. Yes it is and they have some beautiful
areas out there. Quiet beaches, you know you want to you want to have some
privacy and they really have some nice little spots that you can bring your
family to and enjoy. Listen when you drive over the bridge coming off of 18
and you enter into Neptune City and the traffic is backed up to Avon going to
whatever beach they might be going to whether it’s Avon, Bradley, Belmar, Asbury, you know somebody’s done the right thing here yeah and hopefully
hopefully those people have done the right thing are the municipalities which
we know they’ve done and we hope that the county’s assisting them and our
Tourism Department has helped expand their need and assist them with anything
that they need. Now in 2018 Monmouth County was one of
the top five most visited counties sure I mean that’s great that’s fabulous and
that and that’s fabulous and and I think we had eight point six million visitors
or something to that effect come through here but some astonishing numbers and I
I will tell you you know after Sandy and I know I keep going back to that because
it’s a real vital part of the success because you know they there was a major
major hit back back then and the towns all came together in their own way yeah
in their own direction to build back their infrastructure but now I mean and
you hate to say a bad thing turns good but in this case it did because you had
you had some infrastructure that needed repair sure this made them have to do it
and now I mean you go down and whether you’re in the paver type boardwalk in
Bradley Beach you’re in the board the different types of boardwalks in Avon or
Belmar and then you go a little bit to the older style boardwalks that are in
in Asbury Park and the wide beaches the wide boardwalks food establishments on
the boardwalk all those things bring a different look to to what people are
looking for or family yeah bring your family – we sat here after Sandy and you
said we’ll be back and we’ll be back better than ever and we certainly
certainly are. Yes that’s so true and you know part of it also has to do with
the way you market the Jersey Shore your marketing campaigns how do you promote
it? So it’s really it’s really amazing and people don’t realize this and you
know if I want people to take a look next year and take a look and see when
you’re looking at license plates that’s really yeah and one of them in
particular it always catches my eyes Canada okay if you look at their license plates
in Monmouth County you see growing more and more and more because and i commend
our Tourism Department and our Public Information for going out to these other
areas whether in Philly shows or a show in Canada and promoting what we have
that and people are like wow this is really not far away right and it’s
amazing and it and it’s cost-effective to them so we’ve been really jumping on
that and and it’s it’s really important because the one thing that we got have
to remember is we can’t just focus on the businesses for the three months
there because quite frankly it’s very hard to survive in a business for three months so
we have pushed out and extended that and and now we’re making a presence whether
we’re at different advances you know the Seafood Fest, the Oyster Fest, the
Ocean Fest Bradley Beach has different events
you know we then we come into the newer season where we’re gonna have the Keyport
Music Festival we’re gonna have the San Gennaro feast, all these things extend
the tourism season which is really important because it gives the
opportunity for the businesses to generate revenue outside the normal part
of their season it might not be the same amount of revenue but its revenue but it
keeps them afloat absolutely that’s great thank you so much Freeholder for
joining us on this great news about tourism 2019 before you know it we’re
gonna be in the 2020 season and we’re gonna have lots to talk about
well yes I want to thank everybody all my whole departments because I truly do
believe the partnerships between the town and the mewn and the counties the
municipalities in the counties has has made this really work to what be Monmouth County a major destination. Working together partnership, sharing
that’s the key to go. Thank you alright thank you so much Freeholder. And that is
all the time we have for this segment of Monmouth in Focus of course please
visit www.visitmonmouth.com for more information about County Tourism. I’m Cynthia Scott, have a great day.

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