In Ocean City, meanwhile, business leaders are readying for business as usual next season.
For Jolly Roger Amusement Park, the most significant repairs needed are to the Ocean City fishing pier, which the company is responsible for under a franchise agreement with the town. Dean Langrall, marketing director for Jolly Roger parent Bay Shore Development Corp., said the pier is scheduled to be ready for summer.
"They know how to batten down the hatches, and they know how to sit it out," Langrall said. "The sun came out the next day, and we're looking forward to next summer."
At the popular bar and restaurant Fager's Island, as at many homes and businesses along Assawoman and Isle of Wight bays, the storm's effects were more apparent. Heavy flooding destroyed nearly a dozen refrigerators and most of the alcohol inventory at Fager's, and the storm surge wiped out the bar's back deck and gazebo that sat over the water.
As many as 50 staff members at a time gathered to work on repairs in the days after the storm, general manager Kevin Myers said. Initial repairs allowed the restaurant to reopen about three days after Sandy had passed, but more repairs will be continuing until summer, he said.
Myers said he expects similar efforts are being made in harder-hit areas, which could keep tourists in their usual spots.
"Beach communities are pretty resilient, and I think whether it's Florida or the Gulf Coast or the Carolinas or us or whoever, I think everyone who's in business at the beach realizes there always is this peril of a weather issue," Langrall said. "My guess is the Jersey beaches will be back good to go by the summer just like our pier will be."
Disasters also tend to unite communities, such as in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, Posner said. It's possible that even a still-bruised Jersey coast could draw people eager to support their favorite summer spot, he said. Others suggested Jersey shore faithful will simply be unwilling to substitute a different locale.
"People in the region will want to support the tourism memories that people have about the New Jersey coastline," Posner said. "It's an emotional tug for people in the region."
Ocean City looks ahead to summer -- and tourists up for grabs
Superstorm Sandy's devastation in New Jersey could create opportunity for other beach towns
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