Dec. 7 Forum Focuses on Beach Haven’s Economic Future

Nov 29, 2017

Efforts to make Beach Haven an even better place to shop, dine, stay and play will be the topic of a special forum on Thursday, Dec. 7, beginning at 4 the meeting room of the municipal building located in the old Coast Guard station at 420 Pelham Ave. The moderator is Councilman Don Kakstis, who had announced plans last spring for a major initiative to develop an economic growth plan for a successful business district. He said the program includes identifying Beach Haven’s customer base and preferences, and implementing necessary improvements and change that would improve profitability and lead to the launching of a marketing plan to attract investment.

Kakstis said to accomplish this goal, Beach Haven has established an 11-person Economic Development Team that is working with Lori Pepenella as part of a pilot program with the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, where Pepenella is chief executive officer.

To better understand the customer base, people who live, work, shop and visit Beach Haven took an  online survey over the summer, which examined dining, shopping, entertainment and recreation venues among other topics. The question “What would you recommend to make Beach Haven better?” was asked throughout the survey.

Results will be announced at the meeting, with comments by Joe Getz of the JGSC group, one of two consultant companies involved in the project. The other consultant is James Maley Jr. of Maley and Associates, who will discuss the Beach Haven Economic Redevelopment Zone. 

“Recognizing what we don’t know is important, as they bring an in-depth level of experience and expertise,” said Kakstis, adding that people are welcome to ask questions at the forum.

Under the direction of the chamber,  Stockton University conducted face-to-face interviews during the summer. A final report of the findings will be issued at the meeting by Bryan J. Tyrrell, Stockton business professor, and Kate Krier, business outreach coordinator for the chamber.

“A lot of information is going to be gathered this summer,” said Pepenella. “We need to hear from the people who work, live and visit here. We’re always looking at ways to improve tourism and keep up with the latest trends in marketing and stay competitive as a tourist destination.”

For more information, call Borough Clerk/Acting Manager Sherry Mason at 609-492-0001, extension 2016.

— Eric Englund

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