Extend summer break. That’s right, the kids go back too soon. Labor Day is a great holiday that marks the unofficial end of summer. For retailers and restaurants at the Jersey shore it’s the time of year to evaluate the success of the summer and get ready for the long season until the shore is bustling again around Memorial Day.
Here’s my thought. Why not extend the summer break for kids in NJ until the Monday AFTER Labor Day? For working parents the week of Labor Day is the perfect vacation week at the shore. There’s no competition from the Philly crowds as they’re back in school immediately following the holiday. And only a need to use four vacation days as the Monday holiday is built in for just about everyone. Including me, we tape Chasing News throughout the week leading up to the holiday and the “music comes out to play” in the am on holidays.
Think about the retail and food service revenue. The extension of beach tag sales for local municipalities. The added toll revenue. The hotel revenue, which ads nicely to the tax revenue. Not to mention the owners of rental homes being able to squeeze another week of summer. The economic impact of tourism in New Jersey accounts for more than $36 billion dollars. In many NJ counties summer tourism is much greater than the winter, the economic impact of the billions spent by overnight guests would be very strong extending the summer calendar. Let’s just take the $36 billion and spread it out evenly over 52 weeks…even with that incredibly conservative estimate we’re talking about nearly $700 million dollars in economic impact.
Summer is already cut short by the lack of planning for snow days. A significant round of winter weather pushes the school year to the end of June. We know that last week or so of school – especially after finals – is a bit of a waste of time at best. Let’s embrace the value of a summer vacation. It’s a part of American culture. It’s a critical component of Jersey culture and our economy. The Jersey shore is summer vacation. Let’s embrace it, and start school the Monday after Labor Day.