Delis will be packed, but don’t expect a Super Bowl business boom down here

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Numerous stories about Sunday’s matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks – New Jersey’s Super Bowl — have touted its economic impact from High Point to Cape May.

Well, that may be stretching things.

Diane Wieland, Cape May County’s tourism director, was direct when asked this week if Cape May would be likely to see a bump from the Super Bowl.

“No,” she said.

Local accommodations and businesses don’t expect to see much impact from the game in East Rutherford, she said, aside from the bars, restaurants, grocers and others who always see a spike in business for game day.

But there could be some local impact in the future, if hotel stays in North Jersey bring an increase in the room tax, which could mean more money for grants and programs next year.

“Anything that impacts the occupancy tax and sales tax helps us,” she said.

Atlantic City may be able to parlay the game into some additional business, she suggested, offering special rates or programs. But Cape May County is far enough away that the impact will likely be similar to any other Super Bowl.

“We’ll see a flurry of activity at the deli,” Wieland said.

But for many businesses in Cape May County, there’s no way for a day in February to compete with the summer crowds.

“When I talk to people who have businesses in Philly, they tell me it’s their biggest day of the year,” said Robert Blutinger, one of the owners of Boyar’s Food Market on Asbury Avenue in Ocean City. “It’s my 260th best day of the year. I tell them to come see me any day in the summer.”

Blutinger said some of the offshore bars see a sizable boost to business for Super Bowl Sunday, and his shop sees a nice uptick in orders for sandwich trays and chicken tenders, but he said it does not come anywhere  close to any Sunday in July.

“In Ocean City in February, there’s not enough people to have a good fight,” he said.

There has been a lot of excitement building around the Super Bowl, Wieland said, the first in the Northeast in decades.

It’s been source of Jersey pride, not to mention another way to show off Jersey attitude, which in this case seems completely non-partisan.

Both Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic Sen. Cory Booker have pointedly reminded national media that the game will be played on New Jersey soil, not in New York, even though the city is turning Times Square and Broadway into Super Bowl Boulevard.

The game is actually being hosted jointly by New York and New Jersey, but many national media outlets are describing it as a New York Super Bowl, which is raising some Jersey ire.

— Bill Barlow

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