By Lauren Wanko
During the summer the Kiczales head to the beach once a week. Today there’s plenty of room on the sand for their towels and chairs, they call it their private beach.
“I don’t like it totally empty, I like to see some people,” said Al Kiczales.
“There’s enough, 12 is good, 12 is good,” said Lois Kiczales.
The unofficial end of summer kicks off the unofficial start of the local summer.
Middletown resident Robert Bolognese waited to visit Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach until after Labor Day.
“We don’t like to come when there’s a lot of people it’s crowded, traffic,” Bolognese.
“It slows down a little bit, yet everything is still open and there’s a lot to do here. We also get a lot of people who come down cause they enjoy a slower pace,” said Jenkinson’s Marketing Director Toby Wolf.
In Belmar, there are more than 140 businesses that rely on a steady stream of summer tourists says Mayor Matt Doherty, but many owners keep their doors open year round.
“What we consider the shoulder season so that’s just outside of the summer is important to businesses as well and it’s actually a lot easier to draw people from the immediate community cause it’s less crowded,” said Doherty.
“We rely on the local residents to keep us afloat and help us pay those bills during that off season,” said Jason Soares.
Stay Gold Café & Lounge is open year round. Owner Soares owns two other businesses in town, one is seasonal.
“Being on Ocean Avenue I think it’s real difficult trying to run that year round. Main Street with different businesses that attract people from near and far it’s helped us to have something we can work with year round,” said Soares.
A few blocks away, Broker of Record Alice Farr-Leonard is renting beach homes for the winter season — which starts Oct. 1.
“I have nine leads this morning from the internet alone to follow-up on ads that I’ve run for our winter rentals,” said Farr-Leonard.
Farr-Leonard says after Labor Day the inventory for sales typically increases. Some homeowners consider selling cause their properties are clean, vacant, and ready to show. While on the market, those home are also still offered for rent.
Some of the renters who stay over the winter .end up in town for the summer too, says Farr-Leonard.
“We have some groups that wound up going into winter rental season and coming back for next summer at the same time, so it’s a dual lease agreement,” she said.
Still out-of-towners continue to take day trips to the shore, like these Mercer County girlfriends.
“You avoid the crowds, don’t have to be concerned about parking,” said Candace Cerrone.
This father and son drove from Pennsylvania.
“There’s a lot of nice days left in September. We’ve been down here as late as November,” said Art Cantrell.
Exactly what businesses owners want to hear.