NEW BRUNSWICK – More than three-quarters of regular Jersey shore visitors plan to go “down the shore” this summer as usual, despite the havoc wreaked by Superstorm Sandy, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. Most – 64 percent – say they will spend about as much time as in summers past, while 13 percent say they will make longer stays. Just under two-thirds of the 20 percent who will make shorter visits say Sandy is the reason they will cut back.
Besides those who live there, just under 60 percent of New Jerseyans typically visit the shore during summer, with most usually staying a week or less. Thirty-six percent are day-trippers, 21 percent visit up to three days and another 19 percent stay between four and seven days. One-quarter of shore-goers spend more than a week, including 8 percent who spend the entire summer.
About 30 percent of visitors who stay four days to a week are planning to cut back. Only 5 percent of these visitors plan to spend more time. Among other visitors, the percentage planning to spend less time is mostly offset by those who plan to spend more.
“The summer tourist season seems surprisingly stable, though perhaps down slightly based on current plans,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers. “While some regulars will cut back due to Sandy, most expect to spend as much or more time than ever enjoying the Jersey shore. Even those cutting back are still more likely to visit than to stay away entirely.”
Atlantic City (11 percent) and Seaside Heights – home to MTV’s Jersey Shore – (10 percent) are respondents’ top destinations, followed by Wildwood, Long Beach Island, Point Pleasant and Ocean City.
Results are from a poll of 796 adult New Jerseyans conducted statewide among landline and cell phone households from Jan. 30 – Feb. 3 with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.