Seaside Heights has sought to reinvent itself in recent years, but even as the barrier island borough embarks on new redevelopment initiatives, another summer means the return of crackdowns on rowdy renters eager to enjoy one of the Jersey Shore’s notorious party spots.
So what better time for the return of “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation” to MTV?
When the reality hit series debuted last week, Booking.com was quick to capitalize by promoting a listing for the original “Jersey Shore” house, which can accommodate 11 people, as noted by NJ.com. And while property prices in Seaside and elsewhere along the actual Jersey Shore often pale in comparison to other summer getaways like the hoity-toity Hamptons, the “Jersey Shore” effect is still going strong.
Michael Loundy, owner of local brokerage Seaside Realty NJ, brokered the deal a decade ago that saw MTV pay $85,000 to rent in Seaside for the summer. By early 2010, in the months after the show’s first season, the beach house at 1209 Ocean Terrace was already renting for $3,500 a night as Loundy and other local businesses reaped the benefits of the “Jersey Shore” boom.
And the crash pad made famous by the well-tanned and toned cast of the show is still snagging premium rents. The six-bedroom, three-bathroom beach house where Snookie, Pauly D and JWoww — now looking to sell her own home in nearby Toms River — rose to fame commands a whopping $3,000 per night, per its online listing.
Loundy noted that prices for the high-profile property can swing wildly, sometimes dipping to a mere $1,200 per night, depending on the season.
“The cast and crew likes to come to here,” Loundy told The Real Deal. “You can find Vinny and Pauly cruising around — if they’re not shooting — in Seaside Heights. Jenni lives locally; Snooki loves Seaside Heights; these guys are in and out. The house is very active because the show is airing and shooting now.”
The so-called Shore House is often booked months in advance, with graduation and bachelorette parties being popular occasions for renters, Loundy said.
The house’s Booking.com listing states that it is located 650 feet from Casino Pier, an amusement park situated on the Seaside beach and boardwalk. Amenities include barbecue facilities and a terrace, furniture used by the “Jersey Shore” crew — perhaps in ways you would rather not imagine — and catering and dee-jay services.
Loundy said visitors from all over the country have visited the 1960-built home on a daily basis, many of whom pose in front of the Italian flag painted on its garage door. Loundy said he has been exclusively renting the property since the first iteration of the “Jersey Shore” franchise ended in December 2012.
Despite drawing heavy criticism from groups across the country over the show’s controversial portrayal of Italian-Americans, Loundy said Seaside has benefited from its exposure on “Jersey Shore.”
“Seaside is progressing at a pace we had not anticipated,” he said. “We’re happy to have had the show in our history and we’re moving past that. There are hundreds of millions of people that heard of Seaside Heights that would have never heard from it before.”
Loundy said the initial ripple effect from the show’s inaugural airing 10 years ago was immediate.
“Our municipal revenue was up on our beaches and parking was up 20 percent,” he said. “And that can be attributed to the show and the broad reach that it had.”
Property records show that the Shore House has been owned by Florida-based real estate investor Danny Merk since 2003. Merk, also the owner of the famed Jersey Shop along the Seaside boardwalk, where the cast of the show once worked, bought the property for $600,000.
As for Loundy’s Seaside Realty NJ, it was also part of a team that worked with MTV and its parent company, Viacom, on the “MTV Beach House” show once hosted by Carson Daly.