Brigantine Realtor Suckered By News Reporter?

Brigantine homeowners & local business operators were not pleased by a recent ‘Patriot News’ interview with a Brigantine Real Estate agent. Was the agent sucker punched inside another negative story about Brigantine? The Patriot News is a part of; the largest website in central PA. Read the online version of the article here: Luck Sours for Jersey Shore Town near Atlantic City, and Sandy has little to do with it.

The reporter quotes agent; Arno Apel from Ashore Realty, as saying some pretty dismal things about the Brigantine economy. The owner of the agency; Dennis Allen, says the interview and eventual Newspaper story was inaccurate & taken out of context.

Here’s one such angry email from a Brigantine homeowner, sent to the reporter / writer of this article :

Dear John Luciew,

The article you published in The Patriot News ( and online at Central PA website: ) is very disturbing. I don’t know the actual basis for Mr. Apel’s take on Brigantine and Atlantic City. I have multiple luxury rental properties in the $6000/week category and I’m almost fully booked. I did reduce my rates a bit this year, due to a sluggish start and more properties available as rentals.

The main reason that rentals are down or a bit late this year? There is no marketing of our beautiful island, stating that we’re back to normal. 

Shops, restaurants, most homes and our beaches are back to gorgeous, with two completed beach replenishments.

You see, Brigantine is the best kept secret with beautifully groomed beaches, gorgeous properties in every price range, safe quiet streets, happy smiling faces, a golf course, a miniature golf course, the normal tee shirt/souvenir shops, ice cream/ pizza/ bakery shops, full size Acme market, restaurants, no traffic, no parking meters or parking issues….. I can go on and on.

Brigantine is the best kept secret because those with power just plain want to keep it to themselves.

Although the Governor is now leading an ad campaign through television ads, it was late in getting onto the airways. It really should have started in March, as we were up and running here in Brigantine almost right away. Are the New Jersey shore ads running in your markets?

Mr. Apel was correct in his thoughts that the economy has affected the rental market here but not because our guests are not willing to use their money to enjoy our town for a week in the summer. Part of the reason for slower rental bookings is an economy effect, BUT that effect is not a lack of vacationers coming to our town.

Our inventory has increased due to the fact that many more homeowners that did not previously rent out their 2nd homes are now doing so because of the financial burdens of their personal assets. So renting out 2nd homes helps to bring in some rental money to off-set 2nd home hardships. This theory has been validated through the Brigantine Fire Marshall’s office that has the duty of inspecting seasonal rental properties. They have had a marked increase in the number of summer rental properties of the last few years, as our economy tanked.

As for Atlantic City, Mr Apel’s take on Atlantic City is confusing to me. Although the numbers are down for the casinos, that does not negate the fact that the casinos are an asset to the Brigantine community and the State of New Jersey,as a whole.

The mainland of AC is just over the bridge to our Island and is home to many 4 star dining experiences. The shows, acts and entertainers brought into the casinos are top rate. The nightclubs are first rate too. The casinos are located in two districts, the Borgata (very high end), Harrah’s beautiful high end casino and the Golden Nugget (recently renovated throughout) and home of a large marina with multi-million dollar yachts, right over the bridge from Brigantine. They are beautiful casinos and they are a part of our Brigantine Beach skyline.

The other AC casinos line the boardwalk. One casino after another with “Boardwalk type” shops and restaurants placed in between… all with ocean views, many with wonderful beach bars.

Yes, Atlantic City has “seedy” areas. Doesn’t every city of this type? But you don’t go to them, you don’t even have to drive through them anymore. So Mr. Apel’s take may reflect a poor travel route on his part.

Further, on the casinos…. the casinos in the neighboring states do not compare with the Atlantic City casinos in size of gaming, restaurants, entertainment, glitz, glamour, room appointments, and more. New Jersey casinos are far superior in every way.

Many of my Brigantine vacation rental guests come from the central PA area that your Newspaper covers. I believe the interview given by Mr. Apel was full of mis-information and incorrect conjecture on his part.

Please counter your previous article with the information I just provided. Brigantine is an island jewel waiting for happy Pennsylvanians to enjoy and experience the wonderful island of Brigantine.

Thank You

Subscribe BrigantineNOW

5 thoughts on “Brigantine Realtor Suckered By News Reporter?”

  1. I read the original article and felt compelled to post this reply on their website:

    I am an owner of a second house located on the north end of Brigantine. If you believe Brigantine has a narrow beach then you have not been to Brigantine since the hurricane. The beach on the north end is deeper than it has been in several years.

    Brigantine was ‘ground zero’ for Hurricane Sandy but the city and state worked aggressively to restore the area. I’m very proud of the success of these efforts. Brigantine offers a wide spectrum of rental properties and in my opinion offers more reasonably priced rentals than other shore towns.

    My property is fully rented for the summer – same as last year. The families renting our home on the north end chose Brigantine for its family friendly area, access to restaurants on the island and in Atlantic City and its laid back community feeling.

    Before you pass judgment on Brigantine based on 30 year old memories I invite you to visit Brigantine this year to see the wonderful summer vacation options here.

  2. I read the original article and was very upset by the comments of Mr. Arno Apel. I found it hard to believe that someone whose job it is to “sell” our island to potential buyers and renters would express such a derogatory view of Brigantine and it’s surrounding areas. There was an opportunity here to present Brigantine in all it’s much deserved glory. What poor judgment on his part. I’m sure he is receiving quite a bit of backlash and it is well deserved.

    And, how could he not have the common sense to praise the community for it’s Sandy recovery? The State’s summer catch phrase ” Stronger that the Storm” is all about Brigantine and it residents. Shame on him.

    Brigantine is the best beach town on earth. We spent a good part of 3 years looking for our home. We searched up and down the NJ Shore. Brigantine is the best place by far!! And I look forward to retiring here in the near future.

    Also, keep in mind that Brigantine is not only a vacation paradise for Pennsylvanians. I travel from New York regularly and know many others from New York and other states who do the same. I’ve met people from Ohio, Connecticut, Maryland, Chicago (IL) and Rhode Island to name a few. Not to mention the international visitors I’ve met from England, Ireland and Poland. I even had a winter renter this year from Florida!

    I do hope the Patriot News & prints the rebuttal above.

    1. I posted another comment to the author of the article asking him to use caution when posting broad conclusions based on one interview. He should have used multiple sources. I also informed him that real estate agencies are just one indicator of the rental market and that online web sites also play a role.

      The damage is already done – the headline about Atlantic City and Brigantine is the only negative NJ shore headline from that paper. All other beach towns received praise.

      I recommend that the city gov’t invite the author to Brigantine to come and see first hand where Brigantine is now. Let the author take pictures and hear the stories of how the city has recovered. I would like to see him write another story based upon our success.

      Make sure he goes golfing, jet skiing, fishing, walks the beach, finds a local bakery, takes his kids miniature golfing and then get ice cream, visits AC, rides bikes in Brigantine, and stays for karaoke Saturday night. Then let him write his story…

      Just my 2 cents.

  3. I read the the piece and I’m not so sure that I would call it sucker punched. Seems to me the author Mr. Luciew reported on what the realtor Apel gave him. If the author was lazy and the realtor naive that is another story. Speaking of stories, isn’t that what ends up in the news, “stories”.
    Headline: Brigantine vacationers go the the beach!
    BTW, its not the authors job to fact-check a realtor who is giving an account of what he hears and sees nor is it the realtors job to sell Brigantine. Granted both would probably be better at their jobs if they did.

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