The Jersey Shore has recovered economically from the shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and is expecting a busy 2022 summer — that was the message from the 14th annual Jersey Shorecast last week sponsored by the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism of the Stockton University School of Business.
The seminar, which was also streamed online, was held at the Stockton University Atlantic
City John F. Scarpa Academic Center.
LIGHT Faculty Director Jane Bokunewicz moderated a panel that included:
- Oliver Cooke, associate professor of economics at Stockton University and editor of
the South Jersey Economic Review;
- Sharon Franz, sales and marketing director at Steel Pier in Atlantic City;
- Diane Wieland, director of tourism, Cape May County Department of Tourism; and
- Jim Ziereis, vice president of sales for Caesars‘ Atlantic City region.
“I think the summer of 2022 is going to be another robust and strong Shore season,” Cooke said. “It may not be as robust as last summer. I hope I’m wrong, but there was so much pent-up savings and pent-up demand (last year). … I wouldn’t be surprised if we were close to what we were last summer.”
At the start of the seminar, Bokunewicz presented some new data from visitnj.org that
showed 2021 was a very good year economically for the Jersey Shore as visitors, spending
and the number of jobs in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Monmouth and Ocean counties
rose dramatically from 2020.
Visitors to those counties reached 45.2 million, spending hit $20.8 billion and 122.9 million workers were directly employed (a 22.9% increase).
But, while those numbers are positive trends, they are all below 2019 numbers, before the
Nevertheless, each member of the panel was very optimistic for the positive trends to
continue in 2022.
“We are really bullish on this summer season,” Ziereis said.