Woopra

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Webcams back?

Both the Lighthouse Cam and the Surfer Cove Cam appear to be back and live. It's been a while and they're both sights for sore eyes! Not too much snow it appears.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Snowpalooza from a British perspective

photo by Mike Crewe

Mike Crewe, of the Cape May Brit birding and wildlife blog detailing Mike's life in Cape May, has some great posts here and here about the recent snowfalls, and these posts include many, many great photos... just a few of which I've linked to in this post. But there are many more good photos at his blog. Check it out!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cape May Blizzard Week 2010

The Cape May Times does a nice wrap up of "Blizzard Week 2010", just in time for the next foot of snow to hit! Cape May Blizzard Week 2010

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Incredible!

photo from the Cape May Times

Another foot on the way???

Reflections and predictions as more snow falls on southern New Jersey - pressofAtlanticCity.com : Latest News

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Summer Rental

The Philly Inquirer does a good story about summer rentals right here. Or, you can read the story here...I find the comment about $600 weekly 2-bedroom rentals very interesting. Where does one find that? I usually see at least $1200 a week, minimum. Anyway, here's the story:

Sick of snow, Shore-goers locking in summer rentals

By Jacqueline L. Urgo

Inquirer Staff Writer
OCEAN CITY, N.J. - Despite the snow - or maybe because of it - the number of Jersey Shore vacationers who have locked in their summer rentals may actually be up, say coastal real estate agents.

Lousy weather "inspires more people to think about the summer and get going on finding a rental property for their vacation," theorized Deedra Bowen of Ocean City's Berger Realty, which has the keys to roughly 2,500 units.

The resort has 15,000 rental units, more than any other Shore town. Weekly rates run from $1,500 several blocks from the water to $15,000 for multistory beachfront luxury, Jacuzzi included. The average three- or four-bedroom place a few blocks back is $3,200, said Bowen, who is the rental manager at Berger.

Folks "get finished shoveling that driveway and say to themselves, 'That's it. We're going to the beach this summer,' " she said.

Berger and her colleagues from Long Beach Island to Cape May say that after a slow start made worse by the snowstorm double-whammy before Presidents' Day weekend - the traditional launch of search season - the number of bookings in June, July, and August is up about 10 percent over last year at this time.

"During the blizzard, people might have had their minds on other things. But since then, we've had a lot of traffic," said Dori Adams, a Berger rental agent. "This past weekend was extremely busy."

In Ocean City on Monday, Ginny and Tom Lott of Broomall were definitely thinking warm thoughts.

"We usually come down Presidents' Weekend, but we waited because of the weather," said Ginny Lott, who was shopping for a place in July. "We didn't want to wait too long to get down here because we wanted to be able to have our pick of homes."

Influenced by the bad economy, many held out until the last minute to make plans last year. As a result, some found the property they coveted unavailable.

"This year, people want to make sure they get the rental they want, so I think they're making their plans earlier, especially for the prime weeks in July and August," said Chris Clemans of Chris Clemans Sotheby's International Realty in Cape May.

Clemans said that tradition and the slow-to-improve economy may be driving people to familiar haunts that don't involve expensive travel.

"We have people who rent the same home year after year, who think of a particular property as their summer home even though they don't actually own it," he said. "People get such a connection to a place like Cape May or other Shore towns, and that connection prevails whether the economy is good or not."

In Cape May, rentals range from about $600 a week for a two-bedroom cottage three blocks back to around $10,000 for a newer beachfront getaway. The average is $1,000 to $1,500 for a larger three-bedroom about a block from the water, Clemans said.

At Stevens Real Estate in the Brant Beach section of Long Beach Island, traffic in the office and on the agency's Web site is up compared with this time last year, said owner Rick Stevens.

Vacationers increasingly shop agencies' Internet sites, he said - even for places that cost $20,000 a week. The average beach-block rental on Long Beach Island runs about $1,800, according to local agents.

"Some people don't want to come down here in the winter anymore, or they don't have the time," Stevens said. "I've known people that live a few miles from here that have booked online instead of coming in to look at the property in person. It's just easier."

One such renter, Debbie Moore of Little Egg Harbor Township, said "looking at the pictures online is just fine."

"I've done it for three years now," Moore said. "I know the area, so I know what to expect. . . . Instead of running all over the island, I narrow down to the price range that I want and then compare properties."

Last summer, slow-to-commit renters - plus lots of rain and cool ocean temperatures early in the season - had agents fretting until July or August.

Would they sign more or fewer vacationers to leases than in 2008? Would their clients, the property owners, turn a profit? Ultimately, agents declared the summer a success - though business-owners reported that tourists spent less once they arrived.

"It's all a numbers game," Stevens said.

And when there's nothing else to have angst over, he said, "then we just worry about the weather."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Clay and Pat Sutton: Cape May Snow Birds

Some great info and photos of the snow birds of the recent snowpalooza...

Clay and Pat Sutton: Cape May Snow Birds

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Cape May Gazette on New Parking plans

You can read the Cape May Gazette, cover to cover as if you had the physical paper in your hand, at this link.

There is an interesting story on the front page on efforts to put parking meters down to Poverty Beach, which traditionally is an area that did not have meters. I know several people who specifically park in this area when they visit town so as to avoid the meters, so I think those who oppose the idea because it will discourage tourists are on to something.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

blue pigs



On the Sunny Side of the Street looks like a new blog that reviews restaurants... and yesterday the blog proprietor shared his or her experience at the Blue Pig Tavern in Congress Hall (photo above is taken from their blog). Not surprisingly, it gets a great review.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jack Fichter reports on new Convention Hall



Jack Fichter of the Cape May County Herald
has an update on a meeting in Cape May to discuss the potential new Convetion Hall (and P.S., sorry about failing to update yesterday, work sucked up the whole day). Anwyay, here's Jack's story, which you can read HERE or here:

CAPE MAY – City Hall auditorium was packed for a special town meeting Feb. 19 on the new Convention Hall with a full audience and a full dais of architects, construction managers and faculty from Temple University School of Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Martin Kimmel, principal and architect with Kimmel Bogrette told city council and the crowd of Cape May regulars of changes made to the designs presented last fall in order to receive a CAFRA (Coastal Area Facilities Review Act) permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection. Those included:
• Moving Convention Hall 24-feet forward off the beach towards Beach Avenue.
• A redesign of the Promenade in front of hall which will jut out towards Beach Avenue.
• Parking spaces removed from Beach Avenue in front of hall.
• Stairs and ramps align with crosswalks on Beach Avenue.
• Landscape added to seawall, Promenade area
• Doubled amount of restrooms in hall.
• Emergency vehicle access ramp to top of seawall.
• Hall will be surrounded by wooden boardwalk on three sides rather than concrete.
• Size of catering kitchen doubled.
• Glass wall behind stage area will not open but be stationery with two sets of double doors to beach.
• Retail store and restaurant space remains the same.

The facility will be green with both solar panels and geothermal climate control. Kimmel said the inside of the hall has had very few design changes.
He said the interior would be extremely flexible hosting everything from roller skating to musical events to conventions. The main hall can be divided into two spaces to host two events simultaneously. The second floor will have three meeting rooms.

Kimmel said the roof would accommodate heavy snowfall. The hall will have a long span, deep steel truss system. Solar panels on the roof will produce between 80 to 90 kilowatts with power sold back to the grid when the hall is not in use.
Glass in the hall should withstand winds to 135 miles per hour. Kimmel said the building will use laminated, tempered glass designed to withstand a two by four shot at it at 90 miles per hour.

Mayor Edward J. Mahaney Jr. said council is considering converting the former Oasis and Ricker’s stores on the Promenade into restroom and changing facilities for beachgoers rather than have sandy footprints throughout the new hall from those coming off the beach to use restrooms inside.

Resident Jack Wichterman asked if a $10.5 million bond issue passed for the new Convention Hall 15 months ago would cover the expenses. Mahaney said bids would be opened March 18 at 2 p.m. at City Hall. He said he believed the bond would cover the cost taking into account the depressed construction mark.

Hunter Roberts Construction Group has been serving as consultants for construction management. Steve Markley, director of estimating, said the current Convention Hall suffered from an eroding concrete structure and was collapsing. He said rusting steel was expanding inside concrete and “ripping itself apart.” Reinforcement in the new Convention Hall will not be subject to corrosion by using an epoxy coating with an additive in the concrete called DCI to keep it from being permeable.

“We see this as a 14-month project,” said Markley. “We want to be open May 27, 2011 for the Memorial Day Weekend."

He said work needs to start in April.

“You are buying this construction at the best time in the last 15-20 years,” said Markley. “The market is at the absolute bottom.”

He said he did not expect change orders for the project which he termed as “relatively simple.”

Dan Dirscherl, senior vice president and general manager of Hunter Roberts, predicted 20-25 bids from construction firms for the project. He confirmed that prices of building materials were priced at a five year low.

The construction site will have cranes and rigs for drilling piles and geothermal wells down to 400 feet. The next phase will be steel erection followed by installation of pre-cast wall panels with a track-mounted crane, said Dirscherl.
The site will be fenced off with concrete barriers. The Promenade area in front of the new hall will be demolished during the construction.

Cape May priest's family thankful for support - pressofAtlanticCity.com : Cape May County

Cape May priest's family thankful for support - pressofAtlanticCity.com : Cape May County

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Here's a good quote from the story that indicates Monsignor is on the mend:

The family, through a spokesman, said, "Hopefully we will have some good news for you in the near future."

This sounds like a very positive development!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Discovery of a body and an empty life raft add to the mysteries of a fishing boat sinking - pressofAtlanticCity.com : Cape May County

Discovery of a body and an empty life raft add to the mysteries of a fishing boat sinking - pressofAtlanticCity.com : Cape May County

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The Atlantic City Press has an in-depth, heartrending story about the sinking of the Sea Tractor fishing boat last November. When you begin following Cape May news regularly, you learn a great deal about the fishing industry. Moreoever, you learn how dangerous this business is. I recommend this story highly.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Webcam Update post-blizzard

Best I can tell, the three live webcams in Cape May -- stripercam.com (lighthouse cam), the surfer webcam that sweeps around the Cove area, and the camera at the marina -- are all down. The La Mer cam may be working, but of course that's not a live streaming cam.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snowmageddon

Margaret Montet has a great blog I have featured previously. She has a great blog story (with photos) today about her
Cape May adventure during this week's Snowmageddon. Thank you for sharing, Margatet!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cape May Blizzard Round Two

Cape May Times brings us up to date on the storm and how it has affected Cape May proper: Cape May Blizzard Round Two

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Ben Miller Strikes Again!

Ben Miller, author of The First Resort, wows us with a great Cape May snow slide show right HERE. The photos are from last week's snowstorm. Thanks, Ben!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What a storm

Very interesting (a bit herky-jerky) cleanup of the Mall video here...

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You will find a good news story about the snow storm HERE from WMGM... from the story:

WILDWOOD-- Only hours after the governor declared a state of emergency for Saturday’s storm, South Jersey is bombarded with another winter blast. Minutes after snow started to fall conditions appeared to worsen in an already troubled Cape May County.

The flash from an arching wire on a residential street in North Wildwood is one of emergency management crew's worst fears, proving this storm could undo a tireless 3��"day effort to clean up last weekend's blizzard.

“Anything less then a total snowstorm is not good news for Cape May County and is certainly going to present a challenge, perhaps like we've never seen before, dealing with winter storms,” said Director of Cape May County Emergency Management Communications Center Frank McCall.

As the precipitation falls on Wildwood emergency management crews are concerned about the rain this storm will bring.

“There will be freezing rains; ice will overflow onto currently existing conditions. All of the storm drains are clogged most of the outflow pipes are full of ice,” said McCall.

The county has done all it can to prepare. Cape May County crews are hitting the roads to spread as much of the 2,500 tons of road salt as they need. The Red Cross is also lending a hand to play a larger role.

“In anticipation of a greater need for shelter we are opening two super shelters,” said Cape May County Communications Director Lenora Boninfante. She added,” They are going to be county shelters with the assistance of the Red Cross.

These super shelters will be located at the Woodbine Developmental Center and the Wildwoods Convention Center. The Red Cross will supply centers with everything from medical aid to over 5,000 cots.

Existing shelters like the one in Wildwood Crest will stay open to help the thousands without power who are just thankful they have somewhere to go.

“We pull together as a community and we're all here to help each other,” said Kathy Thompson of Wildwood Crest.

The county has also set up 16 transition centers to transport residents to the two super shelters.



Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Link to Facebook -- worth it for the snow

photo from CapeMay.Com's Facebook page

CapeMay.Com's Facebook page has 39 -- count'em, 39 -- great photos from the blizzard. And more snow is expected today! Anyway, to see the photos, click HERE...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cape May County Herald Snow Coverage

Great up-to-the-minute video of Cape May after the blizzard of 2010... watch the whole thing!

Cape May Times on top of the Snow!

photo from the Cape May Times

The Cape May Times has really outdone itself with all the snow photos they've posted over the last several weeks. For some great photos from yesterday -- posted somehow even with power out all over the Cape May area -- click HERE... and for some photos from last week of that storm and how it affected the Point, click HERE.

According to that first link, "The big blizzard is hitting Cape May with fierce winds and heavy wet snow, taking down tree limbs and cutting phone service and power to many. Among those without power this morning, the senior citizens retirement home at Victorian Towers, right in the middle of Cape May."

WOW.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A snowy this and that...

photo from CapeMay.Com

More snow in Cape May? You betcha! Click HERE to read about how southern Jersey is going to get "hammered" this weekend....


Another post from Tennessee, this time about Cape May's infamous phragmites: HERE...

I will hopefully have another post later, but otherwise, have a good weekend!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cape May from Tennessee

Stephen Lyn Bales, a self-described writer, photographer, artist, Tennessee naturalist and natural historian, from Knoxville TN, has a couple of new and very nice Cape May related blog posts right: HERE.

More spaces, more meters, more revenue in Cape May - pressofAtlanticCity.com : Cape May County

More spaces, more meters, more revenue in Cape May - pressofAtlanticCity.com : Cape May County

hmmmm..... I hope this works... what's good for tourism is good for the city....

Monday, February 1, 2010

Saturday White Out - and yet even more snow!


Saturday White Out

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Let it snow some more!

photo from CapemayTimes.com

Cape May Times has some amazing winter snow photos from this weekend. To see a snow plow in front of the 'second arcade' is an image I will not soon forget... and these below are pretty neat, too...





Clickis here to see even more great snow photos...