LONG BRANCH, NJ — This summer’s tourism season was a record-breaker in Monmouth County with its shore communities bringing in more than $23.7 million in beach revenues

And riding that wave of success was Belmar, which placed fourth among the individual towns with the largest revenue growth — topped only by Sea Bright, Manasquan and Asbury Park, according to the county tourism department.

Belmar closed out the 2019 season with beach access revenues climbing to $3.56 million with more than 300,000 beach badges sold —the highest revenue and beach badge totals in four years, according to the borough’s annual beach report statistics.

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While the county did not release actual beach revenue totals for individual municipalities, it reported that the range of revenue growth among the top four communities was between 28 and 20 percent. The county collectively registered an 11 percent hike in beach revenues over 2018.

Monmouth County’s Board of Freeholders announced the 2019 statistics during with an October 15 press conference to conclude the summer season, held on the boardwalk at Pier Village in Long Branch.

 “The weather plays such an important role in our summer tourism season, and we were fortunate that it rained only two weekends this summer, in comparison to rain on 11 summer weekends in 2018,” said Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone. “The warm temperatures and sunny skies brought visitors from near and far to Monmouth County for day trips, weekend trips and family vacations.”

Another factor that contributed to the success of the summer tourism season was the cost of gasoline. In the Northeast, gas prices in summer 2019 were 22 to 55 cents per gallon cheaper than they were in 2018. According to AAA, the national gas price average during Labor Day weekend was the lowest in three years.

“While gas prices and the weather do affect the numbers each year, they cannot take all the credit for all the success,” Arnone said. “It is important to acknowledge the hard work and the successful marketing campaigns put forth by our municipalities and tourism partners, which are a true driving force behind the record-breaking revenues.”

In photo above: Attending Monmouth County’s end-of-summer press conference at Pier Village on Long Branch area, from left: Freeholder Gerry P. Scharfenberger; Long Branch Councilwoman Anita Voogt; Teresa Staub, executive director of Monmouth Arts; Sheriff Shaun Golden; Freeholder Susan M. Kiley; Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone; Long Branch Mayor John Pallone; Freeholder Lillian G. Burry; Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso; Tiffaney Warman, Wave Resort director of sales and marketing; and Julian Payne, Wave Resort general manager.