This is a guest post from Patrick Rosenello. If you would like to be a guest blogger for the Beachfront Blog, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, you have probably heard the name ‘SID’ floating around the Boardwalk over the years. Then, a few years ago, you probably started hearing about his friend ‘BID.’ Who are these guys, you probably asked? They seem like really cool folks who get involved with some pretty cool things here in the Wildwoods like the tram cars, fireworks, boardwalk special events and a whole lot more. Well, if you ever wanted to know who these guys are, what they do and how they impact the business economy on the Boardwalk and downtown areas, meet ‘SID’ and ‘BID.’
The Wildwoods Boardwalk Special Improvement District, Management Corporation, AKA ‘SID,’ is a private, non-profit management corporation charged with overseeing the Boardwalk Special Improvement District on the North Wildwood and Wildwood portions of the Boardwalk. Created in 1997 by property and business owners on the Wildwoods Boardwalk primarily to provide additional litter pick up in the evenings, SID has expanded its operations into many facets of the Wildwoods Boardwalk. While a small percentage of the operating budget of the SID comes from a special assessment on Boardwalk properties, most of the funding for the SID comes from sources such as sponsorships and tram car revenues.
The SID is overseen by a 14 member board of directors, the majority of whom are elected annually by boardwalk property owners. The Board of Directors formulates an annual plan and operating budget and authorizes its professional management team to implement that plan. From a total budget of $125,000 in 1997, that was primarily used to employee a boardwalk litter patrol, the Boardwalk SID today has an operating budget of approximately $1.3 million and includes such things as the Sightseer Tram Cars, Weekly and July 4th Fireworks, Boardwalk Entertainment, the new Boardwalk Sound System, Operation of the Public Facilities on the Wildwood Boardwalk and key Strategic and Planning Initiatives such as the Boardwalk Design Guidelines, Vision 2015 and the proposed Boardwalk-Crest Bike Path Connector Project.
OK, so now you know ‘SID,’ but what about this other guy ‘BID?’ Like the SID, the Wildwood Business Improvement District, Management Corporation, AKA ‘BID,’ is a private, non-profit management corporation charged with overseeing the Downtown Business Improvement District.
To make it simple, the Boardwalk SID represents all of the commercial properties east of Ocean Avenue in Wildwood to Surf Avenue in North Wildwood. The Wildwood BID, meanwhile is only in the City of Wildwood and represents all of the properties from west of Ocean Avenue to west of Pacific Avenue and from 26th- Cresse Avenues.
The Wildwood BID has focused nearly all of its efforts on improving the public perception and physical condition of the Downtown Business District. Remember those colored sidewalks from a few years back that were met with less than overwhelming reviews? Well, they were one of the catalysts for Downtown Property Owners to band together to make sure that their voice was heard in any future Downtown Improvements. Thus, in 2004, the Wildwood BID was formed. To date, the Wildwood BID has worked with the City of Wildwood, as well as State and Federal Funding sources to secure nearly $5 million for improvements to Pacific and Rio Grande Avenues. In addition, the Wildwood BID has provided a map for the future for the Downtown area through its publication of Re-Design Guidelines for Pacific Avenue and through partnering with the Boardwalk SID on Vision 2015.
Together the Boardwalk SID and the Wildwood BID represent nearly 300 commercial properties in North Wildwood and Wildwood and allow for the professional partnering of these businesses with each other, other business groups, the municipal governments and other private partners.
In 1998, property owners on the Wildwoods Boardwalk tapped Patrick to oversee the newly created Wildwoods Boardwalk Special Improvement District, Management Corporation (WSID). In 2004, property owners in the Downtown Business District, seeing the vast improvement to the Boardwalk under the management of the WSID, formed their own Improvement District and entered into a shared services agreement with the WSID for administrative services under Patrick’s direction.
Patrick is also a principal in one of the fastest growing and dynamic restaurant groups in South Jersey. Together with his partners, Patrick has spearheaded the opening of the Stewarts Root Beer Restaurant and Capt’n Jacks Island Grill on the Wildwoods Boardwalk and Stewarts of Cape May on the Washington Street Mall in Cape May.
In the community, Patrick has been President of the North Wildwood City Council for seven of his eight years on Council and has been appointed as a member of the Advisory Boards of Wildwood Catholic High School and Naval Air Station Wildwood.