It appears the Jersey Shore is back.
Local businesses this week reported having had one of the best summers in recent memory.
Bars, restaurants and Realtors said the Manasquan-Belmar area was teeming with patrons, diners and summer-house renters.
Some credited the good weather and lack of any major storms, while others said that the towns themselves have always been, and always will be, major summer attractions.
"Tourism in the area in general seemed like it was up," said Vincent Petruzziello, owner of Mr. Shrimp seafood restuarant on Route 71 in Belmar. "The people that were coming into the area were very happy to be here and enjoying themselves, and I think that equates to great business for everybody in the area."
Petruzziello said that in previous recent years, due to the economic downturn, he noticed visitors to the area seemed less relaxed than usual and not as willing to spend their money.
This summer, however, seemed more like the good ol' days down the shore, he said.
The area bars also saw plenty of business this summer.
Paul Wolf, general manager of Leggett's Sand Bar on First Avenue in Manasquan, said this summer was one of the best in several years.
"There were definitley a lot of people around. People love coming to Manasquan —great beaches, it's a great town," Wolf said.
Summer rentals were also going like hotcakes, according to local Realtors.
The Ward Wight Sotheby's International Realty office in Belmar reported running short of inventory early in the season.
"I think it was an earlier season this year, and busier, so I would say it was better (than last summer)," office manager Cynthia Curry said. "(Summer rental business) was certainly up."
Even bike rentals did well, according to Chris Mailley, manager of DJ's Cycles on Main Street in Belmar.
"We did very good with bike rentals," he said.
But Mailley said that, overall, the summer had both good and bad days, which were largely dependent upon the weather.
"The things I heard from some other businesses were the same thing," Mailley said.
And as far as how business this summer compared with last year, Mailley said it was too early to tell since DJ's continues selling a good amount of bikes and other gear well into October.
"It's hard to make a real judgment on anything yet," Mailley said. "Once your hands start getting cold and your eyes start tearing up as you're going down the road (on your bike), that's when (business) really starts slowing down."
One business that reported seeing not much change from the previous summer was Eastern Lines surf shop on Ocean Avenue in Belmar.
Manager Barry Peterson described the season as "average."
"We weren't up or down, we pretty much road it out pretty even," Peterson said.
But not everyone rates the summer just by counting the money at season's end.
"I like to rate a season by the way that people enjoy themselves, and not just view it as financial gains and losses," Petruzziello of Mr. Shrimp said. "I know that seems weird because we're in business to make money, but we're also in the hospitality business and catering to people. So if the people are happier and enjoying themselves more, then in my eye that's a win."