Cape May Strong Flexes Muscles to get City Opened

Cape May Strong Flexes Muscles

In the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes a line reads, one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves but a chord of three strands is not easily broken. The City of Cape May, the Chamber of Commerce and a task force of community business leaders have combined to create Cape May Strong.

Collaboration intended to promote communication of information. Basically Cape May strong flexes muscles to open the city.

The mission is to provide support and guidance to all local residents, seasonal homeowners, businesses, and visitors in Cape May while keeping the community informed as we all navigate the evolving COVID-19 situation.

The website created by the team behind Cape May strong is a valuable resource of updates, business hours, and messages from Mayor Clarence Lear. The program includes social media platforms incorporating the hashtag #CapeMayStrong. It encourages everyone to share messages on their own channels using the same hashtag.

Last Friday, May 1st Cape May City Manager Jerry Inderwies Jr. reversed a previous executive order which gated the city’s promenade and beaches. In a late-afternoon press release, Inderweise invited people to responsibly use the promenade and beaches starting Saturday morning at 8:00 A M.

Governor Murphy requested that knuckleheads not show up in New Jersey’s public spaces.

Our beaches and promenade were closed for a month. Last Wednesday, I asked Jerry Inderwies on the Locals Talk Radio show, if he was prepared to “tear down the red wall (fence).” Regardless of reasons, down came the fence in the middle of the night, on Friday, or the wee hours of Saturday morning. Kudos public works.

Business as usual?

What seemed like the partial reopening of Cape May was met with mixed results. Crowd size, placement on beaches, and promenade were open to interpretation.  Facebook groups were rife with controversy. Amy Rosenberg of the Philadelphia Inquire roamed the town (and other towns) to document how the warm weekend transpired.

Jessee Lambert opened his coffee shop Coffee Tyme on the Washington Street Mall on Saturday Morning. Customers practiced social distancing wearing masks along with his staff. Coffee Tyme will be open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday until they can return to normal operations 7 days-a-week.

Saturday, Steger’s Beach Service began placing its iconic blue plywood boxes near beach entrances. Their pick-up trucks made continual trips all weekend getting ready for the season.

New Jersey is under stay-at-home orders until May 15th. Assuming that expires, businesses previously deemed non-essential will gradually be allowed to open. The city ban on short-term rentals is set to expire on May 22nd. The County ban is until further notice.

Both the City and the County have task forces working to get Cape May County reopened as sensibly as possible. Please stay tuned for imminent updates on time frames and schedules. Please share this post and look for future updates. Stay Cape May strong.





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  1. David Greene
    May 5, 2020 / 12:34 pm

    Thank you very much for this reporting, John! I took a look at the Cape May Strong website and played the video from Mayor Lear.

    I hope this can be done safely.

    The chances of my canceling my Memorial Day weekend in Cape May are perhaps now down to 96% from 98%. And my mid-June trip cancellation chance is perhaps now down to 94% from 97%. So, at this point, it’s still very likely I’ll cancel both trips. I’ll check for developments, of course.

    Wishing for the long-term health and prosperity of beloved Cape May. And the near- and medium-term too, but there is only so much that can be safely done at this point.

    Fond and best wishes to you, Suzanne, and your families, for health and happiness,


  2. Stevan Overby
    May 5, 2020 / 3:47 pm

    Thanks my friend John for sharing this news. Whether it is good news or not-so-good news is a chapter yet to be written. As a resident of Cape May County, I am impressed with the collaboration, cooperation and synergy between the State, County and Municipal teams. I feel confidence in the fact (and pray) that they, as a team, will get this right.

    Too much/too soon is ludicrous and will only prove unwise. The team approach of partial reopening of our neighborhoods, both commercial and residential, is more subdued, more easily monitored and more likely to bear fruit, not folly.

    Kudos to everyone involved.

    Proud to be a Cape Mayniac… Stevan

  3. David Greene
    May 5, 2020 / 5:20 pm

    Yes, let’s hope it’s good news. I also have faith in the government and private (business) teams. I hope they get this right. I know that everything being closed is causing a lot of economic pain. I am sympathetic to the desire to do everything here: ease the economic pain while still keeping people safe. … My number one concern is for the health of my family. While missing Cape May (and numerous other planned trips) is not fun, the key for me is for everyone to survive and enjoy the rest of our natural lives together. A number two concern is to be a good citizen and not to pick up the virus and potentially spread it to others, even if I myself am asymptomatic. … Wishing magnificent Cape May and its angelic residents a maximum of good health and a minimum of pain, including economic loss. … We are all struggling to get through this, to make it to the beautiful days ahead.