It’s not exactly beach weather, as it turns out.
While bodies on the boardwalk were steady on Monday afternoon, April 16, there was much more empty space between people on beaches in both Atlantic City and Brigantine. Half an hour away, people meandered from one place to the next in , where it was about 10 degrees warmer and considerably less windy.
But Tracy Walsh, daughter of Village Greene owners Ed and Wendy Fitzpatrick, said that the turnout on Monday hasn’t been what it has been for most of the past few months, notably Easter Sunday and this past Saturday.
“It’s been a phenomenal winter,” Walsh said. “There have been more people and we’ve rented more rooms. As soon as people see it’s going to be nice out, they want to book a room. They want to be outside.”
That’s what Kathy Barbeck and her husband, Joseph, had in mind Monday afternoon.
“I took my husband to the doctor’s and I said, ‘It’s a beautiful day, let’s go to Smithville,” said Kathy Barbeck, a Millville resident. “It’s close. It’s a nice little getaway day.”
She added they went to Smithville because they thought Atlantic City would be too crowded.
“It’s quiet. It’s nice, it’s historic,” Barbeck said.
A trip further south would have revealed about as many people in Atlantic City between noon and 1 p.m. Many of the stores and eateries opened about a month early on Monday, as those on the boardwalk had their choice of pizza, cheesesteaks, pretzels, ice cream, hot dogs, sausage and cheese fries without waiting in the long lines the summer brings with it.
Nicole Marshall, who made the trip to Atlantic City from North Jersey, took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a pretzel.
“I’m actually surprised that it’s not that nice today,” said Marshall, who was in town to see Emiliani 4D.
A group from the northern part of the state who had previously planned to come to Atlantic City on Monday was glad to encounter the weather that they did.
“We planned this trip all along. It just happened that it was nice,” said Elayne Feduska, who made the trip with Amy Caruso, Alison Feduska and Elaine Thomas. “We’re just taking advantage of the nice weather.”
One couple from Connecticut who wished to remain anonymous takes a trip to Atlantic City four times a year, and said the weather on Monday was nicer it has been at this time of year in the past.
But one Brigantine resident, who also wished to remain anonymous, put things in perspective.
“In the mainland, it’s 80 or 90 degrees,” he said. “But not here. People come down here to cool off, but some of the people on the beach had to bundle up.”
No one was bundled up in Smithville. Vince Arnwine and Laura Goss were in town celebrating their one-year dating anniversary.
“We came here and had dinner last night, so I figured we’d stick around today, walk around the shops,” Arwine said. “I’ve been here before, but she never has, so I wanted to surprise her, do something nice.”
Weather reports called for possible record breaking temperatures on Monday, and the nice weather was supposed to continue all week.