Your Correspondent’s “Shore Tour” Dispatches: Wildwood’s Economic Fortunes Are Wildly Different

  • SumoMe

DGWildwoodI’ve been coming to the shore since, well…almost forever. My family bought a home in Wildwood for summers when I was little (and so were the home prices at that time), and I can’t ever remember a summer in which I did not get a chance to be down here for a few weeks.


Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately if you ask Roe!), I have found local radio stations who have generously allowed me to use their studios to broadcast my WPHT radio show, providing me with the best of both worlds…real R&R. That’s “radio” and “relaxation” in case you are wondering!


I start my morning by stopping by one of my favorite shore breakfast stops (sorry, I need to keep them secret!) for some carbo-loading before the show. Then it’s a short ride to the radio station. I do my show, and by the time it is done, Roe and I are on the beach by lunchtime. It is a different “vibe” when you are down the shore and it certainly provides a wealth of ideas and topics to talk about on the show.


This summer we are staying in North Wildwood, but we still enjoy going to Bella Vida in Cape May, one of our all-time favorite show restaurants, for dinner. To get to Cape May we use Pacific Avenue. On this Avenue in North Wildwood, business is good, the streets look like a postcard. The same thing is true when you hit Cresse Avenue in Wildwood Crest.


The problem is Wildwood Central. The only industry thriving there are the companies that make those CLOSED signs that are used to board up vacant storefronts. It is stunning to me to see such a dismal economic picture just a few minutes from another part of town where business is thriving and there is plenty of activity. Two extremes in the same tourist region.


While I was down here, I read a column today on Wildwood being one of the leaders in the state in the free lunch program. One of the bureaucrats was complaining that they need even more state and federal money. A tale of two cities in the Wildwoods- one is thriving and one has become increasingly dependent on government assistance.


What is different about these towns sandwiched together? The question I ask is: before we throw even more money at the problem, shouldn’t we carefully examine the root cause of the problems and try to solve that?


Why has Wildwood become a smaller Atlantic City?


I’m not sure if other towns are taking away the clientele that used to come to Wildwood, but it is clear to me that North Wildwood is surging. By the way, while jogging this morning, I noticed a significant number of American flags flying from houses in north Wildwood. I think it is going past Wildwood Crest in desirability.


What’s up with Wildwood? Competition is fierce for tourism dollars and once a resort town gets a bad reputation, it is often difficult to change that PR image. If you are a die-hard Jersey Shore supporter, have you changed where you spend your shore dollars because the quality of your favorite shore resort deteriorated?


Let me know your thoughts below.

One Response to Your Correspondent’s “Shore Tour” Dispatches: Wildwood’s Economic Fortunes Are Wildly Different

  1. Craig Edelmann June 29, 2014 at 2:05 am #

    As to the Wildwood Proper is concerned, I am hearing that its the Government Giveaways that is hitting the city hard by taking away incentive. In addition there could not have had real leadership in the city . They needed to diversify employment in the city by not relying on tourist dollars year round. What they needed to do was to make incentives available to bring in business. I’m sure they could find their niche if they would just LOOK AROUND and THINK what do they have that they can build on to entice business into the city.

    Maybe the Brain Drain from the city has put them in this situation. In that case perhaps they should hire a company with a proven track record of examining depressed areas to come in and offer up their suggestions. Certainly the worst thing they can do is just put a band aid on it from the Federal Government just to buy the peoples silence year after year as the city crumbles little by little. Then it will look like Detroit , that will leave it with a reputation that they could never recover from.

    Certainly with it getting progressively worse year after year, something has to happen and happen soon. I am willing to bet that it is a Democratically controlled city and that they dance to the tune of the more powerful North Jersey Representatives and Senators. That being the case we need to hold all of them accountable and see that they are replaced !

    I have my opinions on this issue but opinions can only point out a problem until someone stands up and actually does something ! Unfortunately, that job is not going to be very rewarding or well paying at this time , it would have to be a labor of love for someone who has a love for the area and helping people to get out from under the Government Handouts.

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