By Tom Arnone, Monmouth County Freeholder Director
It’s finally starting to feel like fall and I couldn’t be happier! From pumpkin picking to festivals and everything in between, there is always something fun to do during this season in Monmouth County.
I’ve certainly kept busy over the last few weeks at several events throughout the entire County that I would like to briefly share with you.
Despite celebrating the fall season, last week I joined my fellow Freeholders at the beach in Long Branch to host our annual End-of-Summer press conference. As liaison to the Department of Public Information and Tourism, I discussed how our businesses and towns fared through the 2019 season.
I am delighted to announce summer 2019 was a record-breaking tourism season in Monmouth County, with more than $23.7 million in beach revenue made through all of our Shore municipalities! This amount does not even take into account the revenue made through our businesses, restaurants and entertainment venues, among many other popular tourist destinations. This news was not too surprising to learn, as we heard constant positive feedback from our partners during the summer.
This year’s beach revenue was an 11 percent increase over the 2018 beach revenue total of roughly $21 million. The weather, in part, played a role in the success of this summer season, as it only rained during two weekends this summer in comparison to 11 weekends last year! Cheaper gas prices were also a factor in this year’s revenue increase.
While gas prices and the weather do impact the numbers each year, they cannot take all of the credit for all of the success. It is important to acknowledge the hard work and the successful marketing campaigns put forth by our municipalities and tourism partners, which are a true driving force behind the record-breaking revenue.
I’d like to thank our tourism partners and local officials who attended the press conference. I’d also like to thank our speakers, Long Branch Mayor John Pallone, Director of Sales and Marketing at Wave Resort Tiffaney Warman, General Manager of Wave Resort Julian Payne, and Executive Director of Monmouth Arts Teresa Staub.
On another positive note, I’d like to update everyone on the successful 2019 Pound the Pavement for Purple 5k and 2-mile run. This annual event, of which I serve as a co-founder, was held earlier this month and raised over $55,000 for pancreatic cancer research with more than 560 registrants! These funds go directly to our race beneficiary, the Lustgarten Foundation. I’m happy to announce we have donated over $243,000 to this foundation since the race was started six years ago.
The race, held annually in October, is hosted by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Neptune Township. I’d like to thank our race committee for all of their hard work. There’s a lot that goes into hosting an event like this and I could not be more proud of our committee members who are truly dedicated to this cause! We’re all already looking forward to next year’s race!
Lastly, I’d like to say it is a privilege to serve as your Freeholder Director. Monmouth County is truly a wonderful place to live, work and visit!