Coldest March since 2001 impacts tourism -

Coldest March since 2001 impacts tourism

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As the month of March comes to a close, many South Jersey residents are hoping that temperatures start to rise in the coming weeks.

"I mean, it's just not something we want to come down to - we don't like the cold too much." Kristin McGrath, a seasonal resident in Ocean City, isn't the only one who has stayed away from her favorite shore town this year.  Ocean City tourist, Dorothy Kahler, explained, "Generally I like to come to the shore when it's warm and sunny - and usually by Easter it's starting to get warm and sunny...but clearly not today."

This past March has had zero days over 60 degrees - a pattern that is quite atypical for the area.  By this time last year we had reached the 60 degree mark 16 times and had gone over 70 degrees 7 times.

Meanwhile, this year the temperature has only reached 60 degrees once, and that was all the way back on January 14th.  Kahler said, "That is surprising.  Usually you expect to see some days up to 70 or so."

Business owners say they're hoping it warms up soon because even though this kind of weather can sometimes force people into their stores as an escape from the cold – warm weather always brings in the larger crowds. 

Brian Corbett, Manager at The Original Fudge Kitchen in Ocean City, told NBC40, "It definitely had a big impact on us.  We can look back to last year when we had warmer days in March and when we look at the amount of customers we had in March last year as compared to this years', it's definitely been a little bit slower."

While many businesses admit the cold has kept some customers away - most of them hope warmer weather is right around the corner…after all, sunshine equals dollar signs.

Michael Yanniello, owner of ‘It's My Derby' inside Stainton's Gallery of Shops, said, "There's an extended winter element in this, but I have a feeling it's going to break free and we're going to see a nice increase in people."  General Manager at Haunted Golf in Ocean City, Richard Hollander, said, "People will be eager to come out and enjoy the warm weather and the boardwalk as they always do."

Temperatures in the high 50s are expected for some days next week.

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