Mid-week holiday makes predictions difficult

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There have already been crowds at the Wildwood boardwalk with high temperatures coming early this year. Some say a mid-week Fourth will dilute the business impact, while others see a boost to both weekends.  
There have already been crowds at the Wildwood boardwalk with high temperatures coming early this year. Some say a mid-week Fourth will dilute the business impact, while others see a boost to both weekends.

 July Fourth is one of the most highly-anticipated holidays for Cape May County. But when the Fourth falls on a Wednesday, like it does this year, determining how business will fare is challenging.

“It kind of gives us a double hit,” Diane Weiland, director of the county’s tourism department said. “Historically, it’s good for business.”

Weiland explained that some visitors will have already come down to the Cape the previous weekend, and might stay through the Fourth. Others, she said, will travel to the shore on the Fourth, and stay through the weekend of July 6 and 7.

According to Weiland, the county sees about 192,000 people a day on weekends. For holiday weekends, that number can shoot up to 700,000 a day, most likely because of “day trippers” to the Jersey Cape.

“That’s all good,” Weiland said, “because when they come they are spending money on restaurants and activities. While we like the overnights, we are always looking for a combination of overnights and daytrippers.”

Weiland noted that because gas prices are also dropping, the county may see more day trippers to the Jersey Cape’s beaches on the Fourth July than in previous years.

“While Philadelphia has great historic events going on for the holiday, we’re still going to see a lot of visitors coming down for the beach,” Weiland said.

Businesses in Wildwood, however, are usually more dependent on the weekend for a big push in business, rather than the Fourth itself, according to Tracy DuFault, executive director of the Greater Wildwoods Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s one of the biggest weekends and holidays we have,” DeFault said, “What we’re hearing is that the weekends will be bigger than Wednesday.”

DeFault was unsure whether a Wednesday July 4 would mean more business for the Wildwoods.

“I don’t necessarily know if it’s going to be beneficial,” DeFault said, “If you have a Fourth of July on a Monday or Friday, people will be down for the longer weekend. With it smack dab on hump day, we’re not sure how it’s going to play out, unfortunately.”

One thing the Wildwoods can always count on, DeFault said, are families that have made traveling to the island a yearly tradition.

“People book the same rooms at the same time every year, and as their family grows, their reservation grows,” DeFault said.

Some managers of Wildwood’s hotels, however, said they were “a bit soft” in comparison to the number of reservations made during the Fourth of July weekend in years past.

To Wildwood restaurants, though, the Fourth of July means the real start of the summer, no matter what day it falls on.

“It’s a big push from here on out,” said Megan Tosto, manager of the Boathouse restaurant in Wildwood. “It doesn’t matter if the Fourth of July is a Wednesday, it’s constantly going to be busy and we look forward to it.”

Christie Rotondo can be emailed at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can comment on this story at www.shorenewstoday.com.


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