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Chamber Seeks More Ads, Help from Cape May

 

By Jack Fichter

CAPE MAY – Members of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May would like more help from the City of Cape May in funding for advertising to bring visitors to the city.
At a June 8 meeting, an innkeeper noted seeing lots of television commercials inviting tourists to the Wildwoods and asked why similar ads were not airing for Cape May. Chamber Board of Directors member Robert Steenrod said the Cape May chamber needed a “radio-TV-print blast,” in September and October.
He said the chamber needed to work with the city and Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts to produce a unified message. The city’s Tourism Commission chose not to keep the services of a public relations agency that Steenrod said brought Cape May $500,000 in publicity through press releases and from articles written by travel writers. He said such an effort needs to be supported by the city.
Chamber President Bill Causey said all groups including the Washington Street Mall Business Improvement District needed to work under one umbrella. Steenrod said the chamber could be the umbrella. He decried the lack of a specific marketing plan and the lack of funding from the city.
Steenrod said he hoped three new City Council members taking office July 1 would examine the tourism commission.
Chamber members also discussed the large number of visitors receiving parking tickers due to confusing central station meters. Some tourists assume parking is free if an individual meter is not in front of their parking space and return to their vehicle to find a $35 parking ticket. Some meters go offline and at other times become jammed and not able to accept coins.
A mall merchant complained parking enforcement has become more aggressive this year in issuing tickets after the tourism industry here has experienced two bad years in a row.
The chamber has experienced a number of merchants unable to pay their membership dues. The board of directors voted to approve a payment plan accepting one-third of the balance up front and allowing a installment plan not to exceed six, equal monthly payments using a major credit card.

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