The fact that Long Branch will not have a rebuilt boardwalk south of Pier Village this summer should not stop people from coming to the city to enjoy its beaches and festivities, Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider recently said.
"Clearly whatever we do or don't do will have an impact on the summer and revenue," Schneider said in a recent interview. "But we don't have the same needs from our boardwalk as other towns."
Schneider said Pier Village is one of the city's biggest attractions, and that its boardwalk will be repaired in time for the summer.
"We had less work to do in Pier Village, it was a relatively simple project," he said. "(Pier Village's boardwalk) was designed to survive a hurricane and it did."
Pier Village's shops, residences and restaurants came out basically unscathed after Hurricane Sandy, however some of the businesses such as McLoone's Pier House suffered some damage to their utilities which are located underneath the main structures.
The boardwalk suffered minimal damage, and workers are currently working to fix it.
Schneider said Oceanfest is another one of the city's biggest events and brings thousands of people to the city.
Luckily, it is held on the promenade north of Pier Village, an area that was spared by Hurricane Sandy.
Schneider said Long Branch's economy is not dependent on its boardwalk as it is in other towns that are scrambling to have their boardwalks ready for this summer.
"An example is Belmar, their boardwalk business district and summer are the biggest parts of their local economy," Schneider said. "If they don't rebuild, they will have other issues."
"Nobody is going to lose their job (in Long Branch) because there is no boardwalk there," he added. "
The city also has plans to create temporary beach access points for this summer, but has not settled on a solution at this point.
Schneider said the fact that Sandy Hook was severely damaged by the hurricane could cause people who normally use that beach to come to Long Branch.
"Right now it looks like Sandy Hook is unlikely to be what it was this summer," he said. "It may be busier here because Sandy Hook may not be able to handle the same crowds."
Schneider said the city will have its boardwalk rebuilt in time for the 2014 summer season and that is still weighing its options on the type of design it will use.
"Our goal is to design and build something bigger and better than what was there," he added. "We've been wanting to do that for the last 15 years."