This has been a tumultuous year for the Jersey Shore. You already know what number one on this list is going to be, but let's revisit that story — and four more — from 2012.
5. End of the line for the ACES Train
Warnings of an Atlantic City Slump came early this year when, in March, the ACES train shut down. The NYC-to-AC direction service was created in 2009 to get New Yorkers who didn't have a car and wouldn't get on a bus to Atlantic City - ideally ones who would pay for rooms and food without relying on casino vouchers. The train even had bar cars and private karaoke booths. But service issues and low ridership lead to its demise less than three years after it was heralded as a new beginning for Atlantic City (as so many things are).
4. "Let's kick the Shore while it's down and ban beach tags."
I'm paraphrasing, though I'm not far off. When N.J. Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney defended his proposal to stop beach towns from selling beach tags if they wanted federal relief money, he told the Asbury Park Press that "I’m even using this storm to beat up the mayors down the Shore." Classy. This is one that came into the tail end of 2012, but is still causing an uproar even though I think it has very little chance of becoming a law.
3. Ocean City says no to BYOB.
What a mess. We saw the worst of Ocean City in this ridiculous fight, including an alleged fist fight outside of a church and buckets of bad publicity in what's supposed to be a family friendly spot. I hope this doesn't come up again, but in case it does, I still don't think it'll make much of a difference.
2. Revel opens, and flounders.
Revel opened with a big spash in April, and the casino that was supposed to turn the tides in Atlantic City. But, like the ACES train, it's sputtered. News of financial woes came early, and has gotten worse since, including contractor liens, credit extensions and overdue tax bills. Revel is gorgeous, but had the deck stacked against it from the start (enormous construction debt; still-sliding Atlantic City). I expect more bad news to come.
1. Hurricane Sandy.
A storm for the ages, and one that has already changed our shore was we know it. This will be the story of 2013 as our communities rebuild, especially in the face of new FEMA elevation requirements. We'll be feeling Sandy's effects for a very long time.
Have any other Shore stories you'd add to the list? Tell us in the comment section below.