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New Jersey residents spent less of summer at the shore: poll

By Ellen Wulfhorst

(Reuters) - New Jersey residents spent less time than usual at the shore this summer, staying away due to weather and concern that businesses were closed after Superstorm Sandy, according to poll results released on Wednesday.

The Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press survey found 38 percent of residents spent less time at the Atlantic Ocean seaside, 46 percent spent the usual amount of time, and 9 percent said they spent more time than usual there.

Sandy, the second-costliest storm in U.S. history after Hurricane Katrina, devastated the New Jersey coast in October 2012. The state estimated the damage at $37 billion.

State officials launched a $30 million advertising campaign last spring to help revive shore tourism.

Asked about their reasons, nearly half of the respondents who did not visit as often cited their expectation that some businesses would not be open after the storm.

Roughly the same number cited the summer weather.

Among those who made only day trips, 44 percent said they spent less time than usual at the shore.

"A combination of unpredictable weather and assumptions about business closures seems to have depressed the number of potential day-trippers," Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement accompanying the poll results.

The telephone poll of 783 New Jersey adults was conducted from September 6 to September 10 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

It was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute and originally published by the Asbury Park Press and related publications.

(Editing by Gunna Dickson)

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