Summer tourism a smash for 2016

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LONG BRANCH — County and local public officials and representatives from the Monmouth County business and arts communities presented an overview of the 2016 summer tourism season, including a preview of fall and winter events planned throughout the county.

“Tourism is a critical part of the overall health of the county’s economy, creating jobs for our residents as well as increased spending for our communities. We are pleased to report an excellent 2016 summer season as well as a full range of festivals, celebrations and events planned for the fall and the winter,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the Monmouth County Tourism Division.

Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider announced increases in 2016 beach revenues in Long Branch. Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso reported that some towns saw increases while others saw slight decreases, but emphasized that 2016 was a record-breaking year.

“Beach badge revenues are indicators of how we define successful seasons in Monmouth County, but they are only one of many factors,” said DiMaso. “One of the most important and uncontrollable factors when calculating tourism numbers is the weather, and we were lucky, for the most part, [that] 2016 brought abundant sunshine to our beaches and parks.”

Other speakers included:

  • Ellen Manger, executive director of the Spring Lake Chamber of Commerce, who discussed her town’s business climate.
  • Katy Johnson, marketing director for Keansburg Amusements, highlighted new additions to the amusement and water park and offered a look into what made 2016 a successful season.
  • Kevin Barry, vice president for Barry Hotels (Molly Pitcher and Oyster Point Hotels in Red Bank), offered insight into conference and wedding bookings at his hotels as well as what he anticipates for the remainder of the year.
  • Danielle Acerra, community engagement manager for Monmouth County Arts Council (MOCO), provided an overview of the 2016 arts season including new performances, venues, galleries, projects and the MOCO partnership.

Fall and seasonal activities taking place in Monmouth County were also presented as part of the tourism overview, including Halloween activities, holiday-related events and area concerts. For more information, visit www.tourism.visitmonmouth.com.

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