The protested beach RV park, originally set to have its grand opening this Saturday at Wildwood, N.J., will most likely be empty, Commissioner Pete Byron said.
Byron said there has not been a single confirmed reservation for the RV park, however, that doesn’t mean the idea has been squashed, Shore News Today reported.
“It isn’t the city’s intention to abandon the idea completely,” Byron said.
The RV park was a planned beach amenity to increase revenue in the city. According to Byron, if there are no reservations for the park this summer, it will not have a major impact on the city’s expected revenue.
“Most of the revenue from the beach was expected to start in 2013,” Byron said.
Meanwhile, with two weekends left in August, and indications from some sources that there will be no RVs on the beach at all this summer, no one from the city would say what would happen next with the RV park.
No one from the company hired to manage the park would talk at all this week.
The park was expected to hold about 80 RVs between Hand and Leaming avenues, and the RVs will enter at Cresse Avenue.
Jamie Peterson, CEO of Point Break Management Group LLC, the company managing the RV park, had said previously that spots at the park are $150 per night for large spaces and $120 for smaller ones. He added that the RVs had to be less than 18 years old to park on the beach and self-contained.
Neither Peterson nor chief operating officer Ian Cairns returned phone calls this week, despite several messages.
Peterson had said earlier that there were a handful of reservations made for the beach RV park in the weeks leading up to the grand opening. However, witnesses haven’t seen a single RV roll onto the city’s beaches.
The RV park opening was an aspect of a five-week beach festival set to kick off Saturday as well, which will include surf lessons, beach volleyball, cabana rentals, and other entertainment.
The park, however, has been hotly debated since the city introduced the idea.
Bob Grandinetti, board president of Ocean Towers Condominiums and one of the key organizers of demonstrations against the RV park, said he has not seen RVs parked on the beaches as of yet.
“Something is very fishy,” Grandinetti said, noting that he knew people who had tried to book RVs on the beach through a phone number given to them by the city, but never received a phone call back to confirm a reservation.
Grandinetti is one of almost 2,000 residents and vacationers who have petitioned the city to cancel the RV park. In a letter to the mayor and city council, these petitioners ask that the city seek other methods to raise money on the beach instead of the RV park.
“We believe that the RV beach parking will detract from the beauty and enjoyment of the Wildwood beaches,” one letter to the city reads. A copy of the petition was also sent to Gov. Chris Christie, Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, as well as state Sens. Stephen Sweeny and Jeff Van Drew, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection Bob Martin, and U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo.
In an interview, Grandinetti said that when, and if, RVs set up camp on the beach, they will be met with some demonstrators who are on call to protest their arrival. This small demonstration, Grandinetti said, will be coupled with signs currently hanging on the Ocean Towers condos that say “No RVs on our beach.”
“But then again, that’s if they show up,” Grandinetti said.
Jerry Yeatts, executive director of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), defended those who camp in RVs.
“They respect individuals, they respect the community,” he said. “They aren’t going to intentionally cause damage or create distress on citizens.”
According to Yeatts, there are 85,000 FMCA member-families , or about 170,000 individuals. The association has a code of ethics, which Yeatts said members are expected to adhere to.
“Really, we’re going to leave an area in better shape than when we found it,” he said.
Yeatts also added that the nightly price for RV parking on the beach in Wildwood is much more expensive than the average price to park an RV overnight.