As coronavirus lingers, decision time nears for Shore towns thinking summer

David Madden
April 27, 2020 - 4:00 am
Wildwood Boardwalk.

David Madden/KYW Newsradio

WILDWOOD, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — In about a month, we’ll be in the middle of the Memorial Day weekend — the unofficial start of summer and a time for business down the Shore to crank up.

But in the middle of this pandemic, can that happen? The mayor of one Shore town is not ruling it out.

Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron is coordinating with his North Wildwood counterpart on how to approach things. Byron says they’re trying to strike that all-elusive balance between commerce and public health.

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“Our beaches are so big, it would not be difficult for people to practice safe distances on our beach,” Byron told KYW Newsradio. “And as we get closer to the summer and the weather starts to get nicer, we need to take a look at the safety aspect of having our boardwalk closed.”

That’s because more people are getting on their bikes and are riding in the street these days. Those streets get busier as the weather gets warmer.

“I think that most of the folks that would be coming down here are maybe a day tripper or maybe someone who has a second home who wants to come down and utilize their second home,” he added.

Cape May County’s current ban on shore rentals really won’t affect things much until early June. By then, things could be better. Or not.

You can currently hit stores on the boardwalk only for takeout food. Beaches and the boards are a local call, while the state would control when non-essential operations like souvenir shops and amusements might reopen.