BAY HEAD - For many Jersey Shore businesses, the beginning of spring marks more than just warmer weather. It is the start of their busy season and an opportunity to make up for the slower winter months.
For some owners in Bay Head, spring will be their chance to make up for several slow seasons since Sandy struck.
Andi's Gift Shop is open again after being closed for the winter. Owner Andi Dalton hopes business this year will be even stronger than last year. Her boutique, now packed with all that's spring and Easter, is fully restored after being flooded with 5 feet of water during Sandy. "This year with all the roadwork that's here, and the destruction with the building next door, it didn't make sense to be here January and February," Dalton says.
MORE: Sandy Coverage
A lack of available rentals kept many visitors away last year, according to Dalton. "But this year we're all optimistic and hoping for the best," she says.
At Mueller's Bakery next door, there's now a new line of colorful spring treats. Mini cakes and cookies decorated as flowers and butterflies have become top sellers. "We're really excited," says Amy Klotz. "We're done with all these winter storms coming and chasing away customers."
Residents were taking full advantage of the beautiful weather Thursday. Some moms enjoyed this first day of spring at Centennial Park with their little boys. "It feels wonderful to have the sun in your face, kids at the park," says Danielle Rizzo, of Lavallette. "This is the best time right now."