The Cycle   |  May 24, 2013

Jersey shore is back open for business

The Jersey shore is ready for its first Memorial Day since Hurricane Sandy. CNBC’s Kayla Tausche, Weather Channel meteorologist Kelly Cass, and TripAdvisor.com’s Brooke Ferencsik joins The Cycle team to talk about the area’s recovery and how to beat the holiday travel rush.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> the boardwalk. an iconic part of many vacations. with the memorial day weekend hours away, the boardwalk in new jersey is open for business after being decimated by super storm sandy seven months ago. governor chris christie set a world record , cutting a five-mile ribbon of open beaches for the season travel additionally it takes states nearly two years to recover. things along the jersey shore , however, are moving along a little faster because tourism is so vital to the survival of these towns. 96% of state beaches and nearly all the boardwalks in the state are open. unfortunately though, that's not the case for every shore town. cnbc's reporter is in ortly beach, new jersey , a short mile from seaside heights where the iconic roller coaster fell into the ground. we still see the damaged homes behind you. how is the recovery going there?

>> reporter: it is slow going by what you can tell. as far as the entire jersey shore , i they've really taken accuse from field of dream. if you build it, they will come. they started with seaside heights among them to drive the patrons to bolster the economy following the storm . seaside heights , the boardwalk is good as news. the buildings and the store fronts have brand new facades in hopes that more and more vacation letters come out and spend more money at the shores. it is big business in new jersey . no doubt they need to restore it. tourism is the third largest industry in the garden state . $38 billion in sales across all vendors. $4 billion in change in tax revenue. those numbers expected to be slightly down this summer because of a dent in the tourism industry . the problem, there aren't a lot of places for people to stay. sleepier vacation towns often house the vacation homes where renters and vacationers would come and stay. 300 houses here in ortley beach are waiting to be torn down. the recovery process is still slow going. the good news, a poll from amp aa found 79% of vacationers would come to the jersey shore regardless of super storm sandy. it didn't color their view of whether they would vacation here. the problem is as you can see from the housing inventory, there might not be enough places for them to stay.

>> enjoy the shore. hopefully the rain won't wipe out your entire memorial day weekend . weather channel meteorologist kelly cass knows which areas to avoid.

>> it looks like the first half of memorial day weekend will be the part that will be not so nice with cloudy skies, rain, even cold enough temperatures to support snow across the higher elevations. the adirondacks, we had some sleep in binghamton toward the green mountains of vermont. killington is offering free skiing this weekend if you want to take advantage of that. we are going to be tracking some accumulating snow across those higher elevations. otherwise for the rest us from albany to new york to boston, it will be cool and wet. definitely below average for this time of year. check out new york city on saturday. rain showers, a high temperature of only 56 degrees. fortunately, we can salvage the second half of the weekend. sunday and monday look better for you. in the meantime across the middle of the country, tracking some unsettled weather here as well. showers, thunderstorms, the twin cities toward kc being impacted. for chicago, saturday and sun, wet. but monday looks much better for those outdoor barbecues across the south. high pressure is our friend. delivering us beautiful weather from charlotte to atlanta . all the way down toward new orleans. the beaches, they will be beckoning with those high temperatures in the 80s and here's a look at atlanta . sunshine saturday, sunday, yes. we're going to do three out of three for atlanta , georgia. beautiful weather through monday. and across the west, it will be heating up in the southwest. tomorrow's high in phoenix, 100 degrees. but still, watching out for some unsettled conditions. especially in seattle and portland.

>> thanks very much for that update. will the weather keep americans put for the weekend? that is the big question as we look at the traffic from coast to coast . that is the 110 freeway in l.a. on the left and laguardia airport on the right. according to trip adviser, a third of all american families plan on traveling this weekend. that is a 6% increase from last year. i hope they have a little patience on the road. the good news is that gas prices are going down. yes! you heard that right. a gallon of regular is now a few cents cheaper than last year. by july, prices should fall below $3.40. we want to bring in trip adviser.com expert, brook, we heard jonathan talking earlier about the fact the jersey shore was officially opened. ceremonially for business for this weekend this morning by governor chris christie . so that with willie geist on the "today" show.

>> he can say this as a jersey guy, the jersey shore is in your heart. so to see this back reopened means everything to our state.

>> so brook, obviously a really important weekend for the jersey shore . how are things looking for them there?

>> certainly the tourism industry is incredibly important to new jersey . what a testament to all the local communities . the beachfront communities in new jersey that they're now prepared for travelers. and certainly it seem like it will be a busy summer season and a busy memorial day . and cape may is a great destination, always among most popular destinations on trip adviser.

>> brook, krystal showed in the graphic that's gas prices are going down. $3.65 on average. that's down a whole lot since 2011 . now, your own survey of folks going on memorial day vacation, 93% say that the lower gas prices won't have any impact on their vacation plans this weekend. but you say that these lower gas prices will have a major impact on what people do for the summer overall. as the summer goes on. is that right?

>> yes. it is clear americans are bullish on summer travel. 86% according to the trip adviser survey say they'll be hitting the road, taking a vacation this summer and taking those summer trips. that's up 6% from one year ago. so you know, despite the weather, despite all the different factors that might be affecting travelers, they're ready to get out and take those trips in the summer .

>> for this weekend in particular, new jersey or oklahoma, the storms we showed in the northeast work weather just top of mind for a lot of americans around the country. are some expected to just stay put and say i'm not risking it? i will stay home this weekend?

>> that's not what i would expect. i think americans are ready to kick off the summer season with memorial day . they're ready to take those trips. with 30% planning to hit the road and 56% planning to drive you can expect a busy day on the roads tomorrow and tonight. certainly in terms of planning, hope isn't a strategy. what travelers need to do is plan that extra time for delays and really be pleasantly surprised when things actually do run on time. and the best tool you can have with you is your patience.

>> patience and maybe an ipod.

>> i am nine months pregnant so i hope to live vicariously through your next question. what are some of the favorite beverages for this memorial day weekend ?

>> yes. about half of americans will be cooking out this memorial day weekend . i can almost smell the grill already. i'm getting excited. margaritas are the number one beverage, according to travelers, followed by beer and then iced tea . so how about yours? what is your favorite beverage?

>> at the moment, iced tea is about the strongest i can go to. i have to say that ice cream lobster fried seafood that we were showing on the screen, it looks like it is all together. that looks incredible to me. i'll take one of those, please. anything else we should know going into this weekend?

>> i think it is important for travelers to be prepared and be patient. if you can leave a couple hours early, you'll be better off. those travelers really flexible with your travel schedule. if you can leave late at night or early in the morning , you might beat some of that rush.

>> thanks so much and enjoy the weekend.