I have owned a home in Ship Bottom for 12 years and rented for close to 20 years prior to buying a home. I live in Bergen County and am lucky enough to live "down the shore" from June through September. I love Long Beach Island and, although I do not rent out, nor do I own a business, I am a staunch supporter of all things LBI because I realize that visitors are what keep LBI vibrant, successful and vital.
Yes, Hurricane Sandy was horrific to much of the Jersey shore. I've seen the damage myself. The massive efforts of so many to rebuild are to be commended. However, much of LBI did not suffer any damage or suffered only minimal damage. LBI is doing great getting back on its feet, in part due to the fact that there is no boardwalk or amusement park to rebuild. Many businesses that are normally open are open now; the rest are shooting for April 1. They will be ready for the 2013 season.
Newspapers, TV and even Gov. Chris Christie have said more or less that the Jersey shore won't be the same for years. For parts of the 130 or so miles of coastline, this is true. But news outlets should also stress the fact that there are parts of the shore that are the same as they always were - and not just the beaches in the southern part of the state.
There is a grass-roots movement on Facebook that is trying to get the word out that Long Beach Island is open. This is all well and good, but I truly believe that it is the responsibility of Christie, the news outlets in general and newspapers in particular to be at the front and center of this effort - leading the way for visitors from New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey and anywhere else to not give up on Long Beach Island for points south.
LBI is open.