Snookie and the gang, a decade older and several kids later, are looking for a quieter spot to vacation this summer – with cameras in tow, of course. And they’ve set their sights on Lavallette.
Mayor Walter LaCicero said borough officials received a request from 495 Productions, the producers of “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation,” to film in the borough. The “Family Vacation” spinoff follows several members of the original “Jersey Shore” cast that gained fame – and infamy – from their hard-partying antics in Seaside Heights beginning in 2009.
“We really can’t prohibit it,” LaCicero warned, since the show’s producers said in a letter to the borough that filming would be confined to a private property and not on public streets, beaches or the boardwalk, for example.
The mayor was not particularly pleased with the revelation, and had – on hand – a list of other towns that have banned the series from being shot there. Last summer, Shorebeat exclusively reported that Brick Township denied producers permission to shoot in a sprawling, private bayfront residence that was vacant and for sale at the time. The exact location where producers are considering filming was not divulged by officials, who said they will take up the issue at the next borough council meeting, scheduled for Aug. 5.
Since garnering negative publicity from locals during their time in Seaside Heights, and following a series of arrests and drunken antics on the part of the cast, towns throughout the Shore area have adopted film licensing ordinances specifically to block the show from setting up shop. The neighbors of one residence in the Pelican Island section of Berkeley Township even threatened legal action.
Brick, last summer, outright denied producers a permit. Mayor John Ducey said the permit was denied on the basis that recording would take place in a residential zone which would have brought too much traffic to the tucked-away neighborhood filled with multi-million dollar homes.
Brick denied the permit administratively. In Lavallette, the borough council will be tasked with making a decision on the matter, though depending on where the filming is proposed, their options could be limited.
“We’ve never prohibited it before,” said Borough Clerk Donnelly Amico, referring to a film permit that is restricted to private property.
With options dwindling year after year, producers have had trouble finding towns willing to issue permits to film spinoffs of the show, seven years after the original series went off the air. Toms River adopted a permitting ordinance after it was rumored a spinoff of the show would film there, and the cast eventually settled on a home in Manchester, which had no permitting ordinance at the time.
Last week, The Press of Atlantic City reported that Hamilton Township, in Atlantic County, received a similar request for the “Family Vacation” spinoff. The newspaper reported that the township council there tabled a resolution that would have provided permission since they deemed the letter from 495 Productions to be too vague in nature. The letter received by Hamilton Township apparently pitched a “staycation” theme where the cast would reside in an Airbnb rental for three days in August, plus two to three days of load-out and load-in of camera equipment.
Last year, the show filmed in Atlantic City and shot scenes locally at Jenks Club in Point Pleasant Beach. Like Brick, Wildwood also denied a film permit last summer.