Jersey Shore prepares for busy Memorial Day weekend
Ocean City is gearing up for the crowds this Memorial Day weekend.
Businesses along the boardwalk say that they're in a much better place than last year in terms of staffing due to the return of J-1 visa for students from other countries.
Finding these students housing has become a struggle for many shore towns.
"You'll hire some great kids and then after the hiring process happens, they find themselves in a muck where they don't have a place to stay in Ocean City,” says Jodi Levchuk, the owner of Jilly's Candy Factory. “So that hire pretty much went out the window."
Businesses also say they're fighting the rising costs of stocking their stores, which could lead to some price increases along the boardwalk. Prices to import items such as beach chairs have gone up significantly.
"We had to be a little more strategic and think a little bit harder and buy what we thought we needed for the whole summer,” said Wes Kazmarck, of the Ocean City Boardwalk Merchants Association. “So it's been a little bit more difficult now and that way from a storage standpoint."
Despite all these challenges, boardwalk businesses predict that this summer will be the first in two years that will feel like a normal Jersey Shore summer.
Ocean City will officially “unlock” the beach on Friday at noon to kick of the summer season.