Like many Jersey shore communities before us, Brigantine Beach continues it’s slow and steady evolution from quiet coastal town to thriving tourist destination. You can see examples of this transformation as small bungalows get sandwiched between majestic, 3 story palaces.
Some hate this while others have no opinion. Some love the change because of potential profit from Real Estate transactions, home building, repair and land development.
When the Borgata Casino broke ground and the AC Connector tunnel was started, Brigantine quickly spawned a new breed of Real Estate mogul. They made millions. Good for them. Local residents cashed out. Good for them. Most hotels & motels went condo and let the owners retire in style. Good for them.
Everybody in Brigantine seemed to be a licensed real estate agent too. Why not? Everybody was in the market to buy or sell. Brigantine, like other hot markets, enjoyed the irrational exuberance. Good for them too.
As hardcore capitalists, we like when people make money. But there’s a price to be paid for high volumes of real estate buying & selling, insider speculation and land development. One tiny little mistake Brigantine made was letting all of our motels go condo. That clearly hurt our once robust day tripper & weekend tourism trade.
Brigantine’s evolution & re-invention got cranked up recently.
Some say that Brigantine’s re-invention became official with the recent election. After 110 years of one party rule, local (mostly conservative) voters decided it was time to shake things up and elect a new majority. ‘Gasp. Oh, the horror’ some shrieked.
No matter what your political affiliation, no competition and too much complacency is never a good thing.
We always wondered why Brigantine never used the Internet to communicate with the outside world. Odd that local newspapers and city-focused websites were rarely updated. Maybe it’s because things were doing great for those privileged few. Why attract more competition? Thanks to the Interwebs, it’s getting tougher for this hidden jewel just north of Atlantic City to operate like it’s on a separate planet, controlled by a few insiders.
We all have friends, family and colleagues who depend on the economic success of Brigantine Beach. Most of us have close relationships with full-time residents, business owners, city workers and part-time residents too. Protecting our legacy, schools, churches, police, and other city services are top priorities for all of us in Brigantine. Sad that we rely so much on raising taxes and cutting services to balance our budgets. Geez. We’re sitting on a gold mine. It’s called Brigantine Beach.
Public discussion became heated recently over the growing influx of so-called ‘2nd home’ owners, also known as part-time residents. Never mentioned in the local papers, is that a majority of tax dollars used for operating Brigantine, now comes from these second homeowners. Currently, this set of taxpayers can’t vote on local issues, budget allocation or other critical use of tax revenues.
Now before anyone gets their panties in a twist, we totally understand the pros & cons of having 2nd home owners having ‘local issue’ voting rights & some level of discussion with our elected officials. Other vacation destinations around the country are dealing with these issues as well. This is certainly something to keep an eye on.
Tourism, Real Estate and home related services are the key drivers to our island’s economy. It’s time for Brigantine leadership to represent the best interests of ALL Brigantine homeowners, taxpayers and business operators…. not just those with the power to cast a vote.
We’re all in this together. Quite frankly, we all need each other.