For many down the shore, ‘it was a summer we’d all like to forget’

Ocean City beach closed due to coronavirus
Photo credit Andrew Kramer/KYW Newsradio
He’s not referring to the weather, minus a few bad storms, that was spectacular for the most part these last three months — he’s talking mostly about the restaurants and shops in the Wildwoods and other shore points. 

“Businesswise across the way, it was a summer we’d all like to forget,” Byron said. 

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the summer season really didn’t start Memorial Day Weekend like it normally does, and some shops didn’t open at all.

For the ones that did open, they didn’t get going until July Fourth weekend and weren’t in the flow of things until August. 

“I think we made the best of a difficult situation,” added Byron. “I feel for those folks whose income was dependent on seasonal businesses.”

The summer season may be over but summer isn’t. 

The Jersey Shore doesn’t just close down after Labor Day, and with many people working remotely and schools moving online, Byron is hopeful the crowds will keep flowing into town, giving businesses a chance to recoup some losses. 

“If they didn’t shut down already,” he said, “I think you’ll maybe see a Friday through Sunday maybe up until the weather starts to change, which will probably be the middle of October.”

Most fall events in the Wildwoods are canceled. The Tram Cars are already done until next year, but Byron is trying to be optimistic. 

“The crowds won’t be as great, but I think we’re still going to have a lot of people down here,” he said. 

In a recent message on his town’s website, Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian called this “an extremely challenging summer for all local businesses.” 

Sea Isle City Mayor Lenny Desiderio said in a message on his town's website, “this pandemic has taken its toll in a variety of ways” and asked people to “shop locally whenever possible” to help hurting businesses. 

Byron calls himself a “glass 90% full guy” as he looks ahead to 2021, where he expects all canceled events will be back, and new events will debut.