County of Monmouth

For Immediate Release:
May 25, 2021

Commissioners, Tourism partners kick-off
2021 summer season

AVON-BY-THE-SEA, NJ – The Board of County Commissioners celebrated the start of the 2021 summer tourism season today, alongside their tourism partners and fellow elected officials, at a press conference at the Avon Boardwalk.

“I am excited for this tourism season and getting our restaurants and businesses back on track for a great summer,” said Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to Monmouth County Tourism. “I can’t wait to see all of our Monmouth County beaches and businesses full of happy visitors from near and far!”

Commissioner Director Arnone asked that everyone remember that Memorial Day weekend is dedicated to those who have fought for our freedoms and made the ultimate sacrifice. He asked Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon, Esq to share information about programs her office has that offers support for veterans.

“Especially during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, we honor and remember our military members and families, veterans, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. My office is proud to issue Veterans ID and Gold Star Parent Cards, and to have launched our ‘Honoring our Heroes’ Military Appreciation Program, which provides special discounts from local retailers to our veterans and Gold Star parents,” said Monmouth County Clerk, Christine Giordano Hanlon, Esq. “Over the past five years, our program has grown exponentially to include hundreds of Monmouth County’s local businesses, and I am thankful for their support of our military members and their families. I encourage veterans and local businesses to visit our website for more information.”

Commissioner Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley announced that vaccines will be available in three popular tourism spots during Memorial Day weekend.

“We would like to announce that the County has partnered with the National Parks Service, Asbury Park, Long Branch and the Visiting Nurses Association to offer vaccines this weekend at Gateway National Park in Sandy Hook, Pier Village in Long Branch and the Asbury Park Convention Hall,” said Commissioner Deputy Director Kiley. “The vaccines will be administered on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with no appointment necessary for those 18 and older. Minors between the ages of 12-18 years old will need an appointment and a legal guardian present when they receive the vaccine.”

Anyone who is at least 12 and lives, works or attends school in Monmouth County can go to the Brookdale Community College for a vaccination without an appointment. The Brookdale vaccination site is open Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.

Commissioner Director Arnone spoke about the effects of pandemic-related restrictions placed on businesses last year.

“As you may remember, last year, indoor dining was prohibited the entire summer season – a major blow to our seasonal businesses and year-round restaurants in Monmouth County,” said Commissioner Director Arnone. “Tourism saw a loss of thousands of jobs and Food and Beverage Spending saw a loss of $186 million, but we are confident that this year will be better than ever.”

Local officials and representatives from the restaurant and hospitality industries also shared their optimism for the 2021 tourism season.

“We are looking forward to a safe and successful summer season here in Avon-by-the-Sea and all of Monmouth County. Our beaches and businesses are open and ready for visitors to return and enjoy during their trip to the Jersey Shore,” said Avon-By-The-Sea Mayor Ed Bonanno.

“We are excited to move forward with our 2021 summer season with the freedom to gather, celebrate and enjoy the activities that make life special here at the Jersey Shore,” said Dana Lancellotti, President & CEO of New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association.

Commissioner Director Arnone also reminded business owners that the County has a new program to help offset costs of new hires.

“The Monmouth County Division of Workforce Development will be supporting our local businesses through the ‘New Hire Incentive Program’ which will allow a business to hire someone who may need training and the County can pay up to 50% of the new hire’s salary up to $10,000 while they learn the new skill on the job,” said Commissioner Director Arnone. “Businesses must make the request prior to hiring so we invite businesses to call Workforce Development at 732-683-8850 to learn more about the eligibility requirements.”

“I am very concerned about our service industry. Five weeks ago, I put together a program to share basic information about businesses hiring with ‘Helped Wanted’ signs displayed,” said Joe Leone Introna, owner of Joe Leone’s Italian Specialties and Catering. “There is a variety of businesses included and I have asked the Commissioners to share this information with state officials as we continue to deal with this labor shortage in the service industry.”

“I am really desperate for service employees,” said Robert Kash of Great Restaurants NJ, who owns several restaurants in Monmouth County. “Now, we have people knocking down our doors but, unfortunately, I have to close off sections of my restaurants because I cannot supply the demand. I do not have enough employees.”

For more information about Monmouth County tourism, go to and follow Monmouth County Tourism on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo Caption: State, County and local officials kicked-off the summer tourism season at the Avon Boardwalk on May 25, 2021. Pictured left to right: Keyport Mayor Collette Kennedy, Aberdeen Mayor Fred Tagliarini, Commissioner Ross F. Licitra, Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordana Hanlon, Esq., Commissioner Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley, Commissioner Lillian G. Burry, Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone, Avon-By-The-Sea Mayor Ed Bonanno, Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden, and Assemblyman Edward Thomson.

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