Business this summer at the Jersey Shore is down about 40% from last year. That's what the state's governor Chris Christie told CBS NEWS. Brand erosion is being blamed on Sandy. That's not on the money.
Why should those from western Connecticut like myself pay through the nose to get to the Jersey Shore? There are tolls from the bridge and the Garden State Parkway. Once at Point Pleasant, which has repaired most of Sandy's damage, parking is a fortune. Then there are another several bucks to pony up to be admitted to the beach. And, of course, all that gas.
Instead, we can travel to Westerly, Rhode Island. There is no bridge to cross. There are no tolls along the way. The drive is about an hour. Once there the fees don't transmit the message: Sucker, we are taking you for all we can.
Full disclosure: I used to own a cottage at the Jersey Shore. Since all the bridge tolls went up and there's no where to park for free in Point Pleasant I haven't been back. Governor Christie needs to put together a vacationer package for discounted transportation, parking, and beach fees. That's what is worth advertising.