TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The Assembly's Tourism Committee is asking Jersey Shore officials what needs to be done to help ensure a tourist season in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

The panel has invited officials from shore-area business and civic groups to speak at a hearing Monday afternoon on the lingering effects of the Oct. 29 superstorm and the rebuilding effort.

Shore tourism is a $35.5 billion per year industry.

The storm wrecked beach communities along the 127-mile coastline, from multimillion-dollar homes in Bay Head and Mantoloking to inherited, blue-collar bungalows on the bay. Boardwalks were trashed and a roller coaster was dumped in the ocean off Seaside Heights.

Gov. Chris Christie has said it will take years to finish rebuilding. But merchants, residents and public officials are hopeful for a 2013 tourist season.


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