Mayor Still Supports Ventnor Boardwalk Ban

Ventnor Mayor Beth Holtzman

Many boardwalks along the South Jersey coast are now open for business… or at the very least, walking. After weeks of shut down, towns like Ocean City and Wildwood have decided to re-open their boardwalks.

But in Ventnor, the popular, non-commercial boardwalk remains closed. Those looking to walk, run or bike, will be forced to use the very busy Atlantic Ave. Walkers will need to squeeze into 6ft wide sidewalks. The Ventnor Boardwalk, technically a street, is 20 ft wide.

After a barrage of resident pressure, the Mayor and Commissioners have lifted their ill-advised surfing ban in Ventnor as of MAY 13. Surfing and paddle boarding will now be allowed in the Ventnor surf. Why was it banned in the first place?

The Mayor of Ventnor, Beth Holtzman, was initially a proponent of keeping the Ventnor beaches & boardwalk open. But then, for some reason, Holtzman changed her mind. Watch this video from March 26.

Ventnor Commission COVID 3.26.20 EDIT from Get Smart Digital on Vimeo.

Atlantic County Exec Dennis Levinson has presented a very broad plan to get the County back to business. Officials submitted a proposal for reopening business shuttered by the current health issues.

The proposal to NJ state officials calls for immediate relaxation of closures that have affected small businesses.

Current rules designated some businesses as essential. They have greatly benefited large national chain stores at the expense of small local businesses,” says the proposal, submitted by County Executive Dennis Levinson and Freeholder Chairman Frank Formica.

Given the relationship of boardwalks to shore tourism, steps should be taken to open all boardwalk businesses and lessen restrictions on activities. (like walking and riding on boardwalks)

County Exec Dennis Levinson
Get Back To Work. Safely.

Strict social distancing is still critical. Shore communities have a strong interest in the manner in which beaches may be opened and enjoyed by residents and visitors.

Atlantic County leadership believes local towns should make the decision to open beaches and boardwalks. Local communities must decide on how to enforce compliance, too.

Atlantic County wants everybody to get back to work, safely.

Levinson: The current economic situation in Atlantic County is dire. The economic impact of the closures is expected to linger. It will not be resolved quickly. The regional economy is largely dependent on tourism, hospitality, recreation, dining, shopping and entertainment.

Economic impact of health related closures in Atlantic County: significant decline in tax revenue is expected.

Imagine Being On The Ventnor Boardwalk.

In late April, Atlantic County contacted every county mayor. Those municipal officials recognized the need to get businesses opened as quickly as possible, in order to leverage the upcoming tourism season.

In a weekly teleconference with local chambers and business organizations, one particular community estimated that:

  • 30% of their small businesses will not re-open.
  • 89% of respondents adversely impacted by pandemic.
  • 75% reported lost sales and income. Significant threats to their continuing operations.
  • 41% say cash resources will be gone within a month.

Smart Mayors recognize complexities of getting businesses back in operation, while ensuring public and employee safety.

Holtzman Defending Decision

Atlantic County Plan: Jersey shore community goal should be to open beaches for swimming, sunbathing and other recreation sooner than later. (July is way too late)

Levinson: As to hotels, motels and other lodging: They’re vital to a tourism economy. We must be able to offer accommodations in which guests and employees feel safe and protected.

Mayor Beth Holtzman Ventnor Einwechter
Mayor Beth & Friends.

Message to Mayor Beth of Ventnor: Don’t let cure be worse than disease.

Atlantic County Exec Denny Levinson: So called ‘essential’ retail establishments have been permitted to operate since mid‐March. Let’s be fair. We should open all of our smaller retail establishments too. With smart restrictions.

Hair & nail salons, barbershops, medical‐related facilities, etc. Many are small businesses. Their mandated closure by NJ Gov. Murphy has severely impacted the ability of owners and employees to provide for their families.

County Exec Levinson.

Rules that designated some places of business as essential. have greatly benefited large national chain stores at the expense of local small business.

Atlantic County Exec Dennis Levinson: A small jewelry shop, dress shop, furniture store, shoe store or other specialty business can’t open and sell the same piece of jewelry, dress, recliner, pair of shoes or Hallmark card that can be sold by the likes of Target, WalMart, Sam’s Club, CVS or others that have been deemed ‘essential’.

Levinson: This financially devastating inequity must be corrected immediately.

15 thoughts on “Mayor Still Supports Ventnor Boardwalk Ban”

  1. The Ventnor elected administrators just don’t get it. The photograph of Mayor Beth and Friends, My guess is, the Puerto Rican community in South Jersey may be uncomfortable with her choice of friends.

    The recent political post card I received. The card, from this administration, was a reminder to vote by mail on the un-opposed election.

    The two photographs on this postcard, one captured joyful administrators enjoying the Boardwalk. The second captured one of their fun events at an Atlantic City tavern & restaurant.

    My point: these people closed the Boardwalk. Then they encouraged all Ventnor residents to support Ventnor merchants. Do they get it?

  2. If summer camps are closed, where will children go? Overcrowding the streets of Ventnor!
    You can’t allow renters to come for any time period this summer, as streets will be filled with taxpayer’s children .

  3. The citizenry must not comply. 1000’s of residents must go on the boardwalk to peaceably assemble to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    The police can’t arrest everyone nor stop everyone from getting on the boardwalk. Let’s make it happen. I say Saturday May 23 at 0900. Let’s do it.

  4. Please open the Ventnor Boardwalk. It’s much needed for exercise and good for mental health. We are all confined. The boardwalk is a kind surface to walk and run on.

    Walking the beach is bad for people with back and hip issues.

    The streets aren’t much better for those same reasons. We need the boardwalk, please!

  5. All medical experts are in support of people getting OUTSIDE for physical exercise as well as mental health. Open the boardwalk. Ban bicycles on the boardwalk as cyclists have their own lanes on the street and it would allow for more space for people to walk or run. Closing the boardwalk defies all medical advice. If the Mayor has other medical information to support the continued closure, please share it with the rest of us. We have a right to know.

  6. Mayor Beth has no regard for Ventnor business that relies on 2nd homeowners and warm weather visitors. As a well-paid employee of Atlantic County, Mayor Holtzman has guaranteed pay, health benefits and pension. No wonder she’s making terrible decisions like these.

    Holtzman doesn’t care about anyone else but herself and her well-connected friends.

    1. As the weather grows warmer the Atlantic City boardwalk is growing ever more crowded. It should be time for Ventnor to open the boardwalk again. There is always police presence making sure people don’t attempt to cross the border near Jackson Avenue. Wouldn’t it be more beneficial for the boardwalk to be opened and have social distancing enforced? Mental health is also public health. So many of us are weary from unemployment, depression and confinement. With common sense we can begin to anticipate summer activities. I agree we should proceed with caution, but we must proceed.

  7. Ocean City will allow all typical beach activities beginning Saturday, MAY 16. What about Ventnor & Margate?

    Ocean City reopened its beaches last weekend for active recreation, such as walking, running, surfing, exercising and fishing.

    Sunbathing, sitting in chairs or lying on towels, group sports and swimming…are now OK in OC, starting on May 16.

    The Ocean City boardwalk, which reopened last weekend, can be used for walking, running, bicycling and access to open businesses.

    Governor Phil Murphy has allowed municipalities to determine closures at beaches they control.

    Will Ventnor Mayor Beth Holtzman fully open beaches & boardwalk in Ventnor?

    Will invisible Margate Commissioners finally take charge of this situation…. and fully open the Margate beaches?

    1. I don’t think this is complicated. During March we were all worried about people where there were many more cases and coming here with our limited infrastructure. The same concern applies now. Let’s start out on the beaches with social distancing and masks. ( Although the governor has recommended it not mandated) and see if the cases go up and we can handle it. Then we can move on from there. Maybe small businesses can open with limiting customers and distancing and masks. I think if you’re honest with people about the risks and express your hopes that the restrictions will be loosened they will understand. As for the distinction between sidewalks and boardwalk you need the sidewalk to enter your house and the volume of people on the boardwalk is significantly less. You can’t apply the same analysis.

  8. Its really dumb. I live 3 blocks from AC. I prefer to walk on the boardwalk, so I walk 3 blocks on the beach and back up on the boardwalk at Vassar. The boardwalk is safer and wider than Atlantic avenue. What is the point in closing the boardwalk.

  9. I agree with the Mayor and you crazies can all go walk on the other boardwalks that are open if you want to. You are being ridiculous with your complaints. Stay home and stay safe so more people don’t die because you want to drink the koolade!

  10. Yes, I like the boardwalk. Since then dune project, nothing has been the same. Maybe it’s time to move on.

  11. When boardwalks are open, people sitting on benches and beach, sunbathing, surfers and paddleboarders are in the water and people start swimming,

    Then word gets out, and out-of-towners start coming to the beach.

    What happens to control because we all know NOT everyone is going to follow the rules.

    They can’t even follow the spacing of 6 foot in the grocery stores at the registers.

    Possibly the virus spreads and more people get sick or worse. Why does everyone want to take a chance?

    No one has the answer that is for sure, and that is the problem. But we do know staying Sheltered in Place has helped keep us from getting sick.

    Unfortunately, it isn’t you or I that’s the problem, it’s the other people who aren’t following the restrictions and doing the right thing.

  12. Don’t know if Boardwalk is 14 or 20 feet wide. The best way to make it larger is to remove the trash receptacles. Make more room for people to walk. No loitering on the boards. Must be moving to keep a place. Divide the trafic into North and South bound lanes.
    Remember to be TOUGH.
    Tolerant of everyone
    (Listen to others) Opinion before making yours right.
    Understanding of each others
    Generous with the limited space you take and leave for others
    Help others and their families to enjoy their visit
    We will all remember this summer for what we make of these difficult times.

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