With summer right around the corner The Monmouth Ocean Development Council is preparing for the 2014 Summer Kickoff to the Jersey Shore. It will be Wednesday, May 21, 2014 on the boardwalk in Asbury outside McLoone’s Supper Club. I will be joining Grace Hanlon, Executive Director of Travel & Tourism State of NJ and Freeholder Joe Vicari of Ocean County as the guest speakers.

      Monmouth County 2014 Tourism Season/Arts Partnership are true partners in that they both support businesses large and small in Monmouth County. They play an important role in building and sustaining our economic vibrancy. The Arts and Tourism partnership helps to enhance the quality of life throughout Monmouth County. Monmouth County is home to 2,080 arts related businesses. These businesses employ 5,803 people.

      The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders supports the MOCO Arts and Tourism partnership. We encourage our visitors and residents to visit our museums, theaters and our film, architecture and design companies as well as our beaches, boardwalks, historic sites, parks and attractions.

      Visitors to Monmouth County spent $2.2 billion in 2013, up 5% over visitor spending in 2012, with Monmouth County seeing about 5 million visitors a year. There are over 32,000 people employed in tourism related jobs in Monmouth County.

      A few important highlights for the 2014 Tourism Season are as follows: The beach replenishment has been completed in 2014 in the towns of Sea Bright, Monmouth Beach, Long Branch, Asbury Park and from Belmar down to Manasquan. Boardwalks were repaired and were ready for visitors since Memorial Day 2013. Keansburg Amusements has replaced all of their rides, including a new roller coaster and Fast-Trax go karts, they rebuilt the boardwalk and arcade area and refurbished the Runaway Rapids family water park. The Ocean Place Resort and Spa, our only true oceanfront hotel has undergone a complete renovation. It now has two (2) pools, a new indoor infinity pool and the original outdoor pool both overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with a new restaurant and bar and state of the art spa facility.

      Towns are preparing for their premier outdoor events on the ocean. The Belmar Seafood Festival is slated for June 13, 14, and 15th; Asbury Park Jazz Festival will be going on June 28th and 29th; Long Branch Ocean Fest will be on July 4th and Bradley Beach Lobster Fest will be held on July 12th and 13th to name a few.

      Also, the arts communities are preparing for their very busy summer season from the Bayshore to all of the towns that support the over 100 non-profit arts groups, the 1, 400 artists and the 2,176 creative businesses.

      The Board of Chosen Freeholders invites you to join us in showing your support for Monmouth County businesses by choosing to attend one if not all of these events. Let’s continue to make Monmouth County the place you want to be.

  • Tom Arnone, Freeholder Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders