Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove tourism’ Category

A perfect potential Ocean Groovy Airbnb rental–all the charm of our special town. Blogfinger photo. ©  (This is not actually an Airbnb rental; just an illustration)


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger  At the bottom of this post is a 2019 update and a 2021  update..

In a recent “just wondering” segment, we began to consider the facts surrounding the new rental phenomenon where people in town can turn their homes into impromptu hotels, making fast money by renting living spaces for short visits—even just one night.

Or course, there have always been rentals, especially summertime, in Ocean Grove, going back to the town’s founding when there was a huge religious tourism industry along with many rooming houses and hotels.

But now, all over the world, homeowners are accepting tenants who connect with others on the Internet—Airbnb has an app.

A hotel owner in the Grove (Nov. 2019)  has told Blogfinger that the Airbnb phenomenon has hurt business for those OG hotels that pay taxes, salaries and expenses year round.

According to one Grover, this has become a problem because these Airbnbers ride into town and expect hotel amenities.  They don’t know our rules and customs and they bring parties with them.  Some think that this phenomenon threatens our neighborhoods.

But, regarding the rules of the road, Neptune Township has control, and I have spoken to Code Enforcement.

The fact is that Airbnb rentals in Ocean Grove are no different than any other short term rentals in town:

You may not rent a room.  You may rent an apartment or a house, but with each rental, a CI  (Certificate of Inspection) is required.  If you are doing rapid turnovers, such as one night at at a time, you must renew the CI with each rental.


August 24, 2019 update:

August 2019:     Airbnb.   Check their website. Currently there are 118 listings for Ocean Grove.  There are  14,000 homes, apartments, condos, etc. available for Airbnb in NJ.

Of the 25 top NJ towns,  (NJ.com) over half are at the shore.  OG is not listed, but Asbury Park is.   Starting in October renters must charge the New Jersey 6.625% sales tax and the 5% hotel occupancy fee.   VRBO is another online service.

Demand  for rentals of all kinds will increase in OG and the rest of the Shore.

Many young couples who want to live at the shore prefer to rent instead of buy. Also many new home buyers are not interested in our town other than as a cash cow for rental properties at the beach.  Realtors could help us out with this, but will they contact Blogfinger?

The CMA is planning to make its programming year-round, and those religious tourists will need housing, and the new North End “boutique” hotel may not be so appealing now that Airbnb is in town.  It may actually never be built or it might take years.

How housing evolves in the Grove will reflect changing demographics and lifestyles of those who live here and those who are just passing through.

We know what happened when the gays clashed with the CMA in 2007,  but what will happen if  the CMA clashes with the residential secular community?

Parking may become the turning point issue regarding the future of the Grove.


2021 update:  Of course the pandemic has resulted in a rental frenzy in the Grove. And those rentals are still hot and expensive.  One small cottage on the south side just booked an October rental for 10 days for $2,500.00.

House prices have risen to unbelievable levels in the Grove.  Some say that Grover home owners can get an average of $100,000 more for their home compared to what they could have received a few years ago.

On our North End street near Firemen’s Park, we often see new faces—renters and sometimes new owners.  It is now September, but the place is alive with events, visitors and renters.  And now, in addition to Airbnb, there is VRBO.

Change is inevitable, so let’s get the facts straight.



JOE WILLIAMS imagining an autumn rental in quaint OG:


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OG Saturday Giant Flea Market June 2016. Gridlock. Blogfinger photo. ©  Where else can you find this?  Click once to make the crowd bigger.

OG mega Flea Market. Blogfinger photo 2016 ©

By  Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Editor@Blogfinger.net.  May, 2018.

May 5   Spring Fling  Chamber of Commerce closes down Main Avenue:   gridlock

May 19  Vintage Car Show  CC  closes down Main Avenue:  gridlock

June 2   Giant Spring Flea Market  CC floods Ocean Pathway with thousands of junksters:   gridlock

June 16 OGCMA  Giant Craft Show —-300 artisans:   Gridlock all over town

June 23   OGCMA Huge Christian festival:  Bridgefest:  Gridlock all over town.

August 4  OGCMA    Saturday of the Camp Meeting Week:   Gridlock all over town.

August 18  OGCMA   Beach boys:  Gridlock evening.

Sept 1 Doo /wop:   Gridlock evening

Sept. 8  Giant Fall flea Market:   CC floods Ocean Pathway —gridlock

Sept 16  British Car Show  CC closes down Main Avenue:   gridlock

October 6 Fall Harvest Festival CC  closes down Main Avenue: gridlock

Note: Every Saturday during the summer season is a gridlock day due to beach attendance and when residents and their guests crowd the town during all those weekends. But that is to be expected. This is a beach town.

But now we are addressing mega Saturday tourist events such as the Giant Craft Show on the Pathway which make the town hopelessly paralyzed.

So what other Jersey Shore towns have so many gridlock Saturday special events geared towards tourists and oppressively imposed  on the residents?

Consider Bradley Beach:  Just one–The Lobster Festival.  Holiday celebrations such as Memorial Day weekend don’t count because they are automatically part of summer.      The rest are things like line dancing, music on the boards, opera by the sea, Italian Festival, Bradley Beach Day etc. which are primarily for the residents and don’t cause gridlock.

Here is a link to our recent piece about the struggle in Bradley Beach over one such mega event.  It’s very interesting:

Bf reports on Bradley Beach struggle with mega-event

Consider Belmar mega:  Just a car show and the NJ Seafood  Festival.

Consider Avon mega:  no mega events

Consider Asbury mega:  Oyster Festival.  They have many activities including music, shows, farmers markets, fine restaurants, bars and boardwalk events like the Zombies,  but these enhance the image of A. Park and are not merely mega events to suck in huge numbers of tourists like we have. They have crowds and parking issues, but those crowds are drawn to the vibe of A. Park not to giant marketplaces where you can just buy stuff.

Consider Seaside Heights:  Nothing mega.   Jersey Shore Festival;  otherwise arts and crafts, boardwalk fun/food, and soccer tourney.

Consider Spring Lake:  Nothing mega.  Just sensible small events for residents and guests:    House tour, art in the park, garden tour, art walk, sidewalk sale, etc.

Only OG has huge  events that overwhelm the town.    What good does any of this do for the people of Ocean Grove?  The CMA mostly attracts crowds from outside the Grove.  All of the Shore  towns have events, but they are primarily for the residents, such as ballroom dancing, concerts on the boardwalk, competitions for kids, etc.

Of the towns listed, we are the smallest and the most paralyzed by contrived tourist events.  There is no reason to continue these overwhelming Saturday gridlocks—the Township needs to reduce the numbers to be in line with other Jersey  Shore towns.  But will they?  No.   These other communities make sure that their citizens enjoy the summer season in their home towns.  Tourism, yes, but sensibly done.

Do the people of Ocean Grove want their town to be a circus every Saturday in season?  Here is a march from Barnum and Bailey:

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Teenagers–summer fun and games on Ocean Pathway in the Grove.  Click to enlarge. Paul Goldfinger photo. © c 2015.

Ocean Grove Peoples Garden tour–a community event. 2015. Blogfinger photo ©

From the NJ Chapter of the American Planning Association:

Launched in 2012, Great Places in New Jersey recognizes unique and exemplary downtowns, streets, neighborhoods and public spaces – four essential components of exceptional communities.  These places thrive as testaments to forward-thinking planning that promotes community involvement, showcases unique natural features and diverse architectural styles, fosters economic opportunity and a vision for tomorrow.”  —

Ocean Grove Great Neighborhood award.  When you go to this link look at the top menu and click on “neighborhoods.”  You will see that OG is lumped in with Pier Village.

Quotes below are excerpts from the NJ Chapter of the APA post about their 2017  “Great Places in New Jersey” awards.   They mention two “designees” for “Great Neighborhoods”—Ocean Grove and Pier Village.

“Founded in 1869, Ocean Grove is a unique, historic and vibrant shore community that is noted for its pristine beaches, abundant Victorian architecture and old-fashioned charm that has drawn visitors for generations. Its strong Christian roots date back to the late 19th Century’s “camp meeting” movement, when a group of Methodist ministers formed the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association to develop and operate a summer camp meeting at the Jersey shore.”

“Today, the Camp Meeting Association, the Ocean Grove Chamber of Commerce, and the many other community groups continue to provide opportunities for spiritual growth and renewal through worship as well as educational, cultural and recreational events and programs for all ages in a seaside setting.”

“The site of Ocean Grove was chosen in part because of its exceptional natural features, specifically the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Wesley Lake to the north and Fletcher Lake to the south.”

“The Ocean Grove Chamber of Commerce and Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association sponsor public activities that encourage social activity and create an overall sense of community.”

There will be an awards reception on October 30 to be held at the South Orange Performing Arts Center. Supposedly Rev. John DiBerardino will represent the CMA while a Neptune official will represent the town of Neptune.





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