SMALLER Madison Resort Exterior Photo Credit Madison Resorts copy

The Wildwoods, NJ’s New Wave of Development in 2024 Includes Merging Four Hotels into Two Retro-Modern Mega Resorts

The Wildwoods are buzzing with a flurry of exciting new developments and business ventures.

The latest in these developments are plans for two new resorts – each combining two of the Wildwoods’ mid-century classic motor inns to create one impressive resort.

Madison Resort Wildwood Crest

Madison Resorts recently acquired the 54-year-old Royal Hawaiian Motel in Wildwood Crest for $13.4 million. Owners plan to pair this beachfront property with the neighboring Oceanview Motel, which was also acquired by Madison Resorts in 2022 and is undergoing its own multi-million-dollar renovation.

The combined hotels will operate under the moniker Madison Resort Wildwood Crest, with the Royal Hawaiian renamed the Royal Tower and the Oceanview Motel property renamed as the Ocean Tower. The end result will be the largest resort in Cape May County with two pools, three restaurants, two fitness centers, and rooftop event spaces.

Madison Resorts stated that they plan to preserve the history and mid-century Doo Wop heritage and appeal of both properties while taking them into the 21st century. The new Madison Resort Wildwood Crest is slated for opening in Spring 2024. Call (609) 884-4063 or visit for more information.

The Vibes Hotel Wildwood

The new owners of Binns Motor Inn, a classic from the mid-1940s, and the Bonito Motel, constructed in 1964, will combine these two historic hotels from the Doo Wop Era, into one resort – The Vibes Hotel on Spicer Avenue in Wildwood.

Acquired for a combined $4,58 million, the resort’s name represents the owners’ plans to infuse a blend of nostalgia and modern comfort into the new resort. Plans are to strip down the existing structures, upgrade every aspect, and introduce top-notch furniture and amenities. A mid-century modern aesthetic will be incorporated throughout the exterior and interior, including a “blast off” roof – common in Doo Wop architecture, as well as vivid colors and retro furnishings. Accommodations at The Vibes will cater to various needs, offering room options from queens to spacious suites suitable for the whole family. A spectacular outdoor pool will also be reflective of modern day sophistication with a fun retro and family-friendly vibe.

The list of new developments in the Wildwoods that have taken place in 2023 and are coming in 2024 continues to grow, as the destination experiences an abundance of opportunities for business expansion, including several new hotel properties and dining establishments, residential and vacation rental property developments, boardwalk renovations and resurfacing, and a Boardwalk extension project.  

“The Wildwoods offer excellent opportunities for business success, and an unmet demand for business growth, with attractive commercial and residential real estate corridors that are perfectly located in a Jersey Shore seaside setting. Our resort officials are continuously working to attract developers while encouraging the growth of small, locally owned businesses in our region,” explained Louis Belasco, Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority (GWTIDA) Executive Director.

The Wildwoods are enthusiastically embracing commercial business growth, with certain tax abatements, state, county and local incentives, and a development-friendly climate. This has appealed to developers and some prominent national brands like Starbucks and Sinclair Oil Corporation, which are making their presence felt in the area. They are accompanied by a substantial number of new business openings, expansion projects, residential development, and extensive hotel renovations currently underway.

Enjoyed for decades by millions of visitors annually, the Wildwoods have always found new ways to reinvent itself, while preserving its endearing ‘Doo Wop’ character and nostalgia. New investments in hotels, shops, eateries, attractions, services, and other developments are now coming on the scene that are attracting first-time and returning vacationers, eager to experience ‘Those Wildwoods Days.’

Additional New Motel Projects

Several additional hospitality establishments have recently opened or are currently undergoing significant transformations and expansions, whether undergoing renovations under new management or all-new accommodations.

Seaport Suites

Seaport Suites opened for the summer of 2023 bringing a brand new, four-story, mixed-used hotel with 63 modern units to Downtown Wildwood, along with three dining concepts. The exclusive pool offers cabanas, waitress service, FOURCAST Day Club, two outdoor bars, and music. The Fairview Social, Beach Brew Coffee Shop, and Vyce are located on the first floor. The property is owned and operated by Seaport Stays and owned by BG Capital, which offers multiple locations with new modern options for vacationing in the Wildwoods. The property offers shuttle service to the Wildwoods Convention Center and Seaport Pier on the Boardwalk, and other nearby attractions and restaurants. Located at 3601 Pacific Avenue, Wildwood. Visit or call 609-800-2008.

Oasis by Seaport Stays

With 26 townhomes and 12 apartments filled with family-friendly amenities, the Oasis opened in 2023 and offers an exclusive retreat with plenty of room for the entire family, including a spacious deck to soak in the sun. In the back of these townhomes is a shared amenity space featuring a pool, barbeque area, recreation facilities, and much more. Located at 2911 New Jersey Avenue, Wildwood. Visit or call 609-400-2080.

MudHen Hospitality’s ‘Hen Houses’

MudHen Brewery Company, a well-established Wildwoods restaurant and craft brewery, opened new accommodations in 2023 on Rio Grande and Pacific Avenue in Wildwood, playfully called the Hen Houses. This micro-resort includes of seven charming beach house rentals with premium amenities, including outdoor saltwater pool, free WIFI, community firepits, outdoor showers, lawn games for the whole family, and more. Located at 156 E. Taylor Avenue, Wildwood. For more information call 609-899-8811 or visit

Waves Hotel

An Ascend Hotel Collection Member, the Waves Hotel opened in 2023. This property offers chic accommodations with a convenient location, along with easy access to the Boardwalk, waterparks, and amusement parks. Located at 4001 Atlantic Avenue, Wildwood. Call 609-600-1619. Visit:

The Hotel Cabana

Located on the Wildwoods Boardwalk at 23rd Avenue in North Wildwood, the Hotel Cabana, owned by SSN Wildwood, LLC, has undergone a complete renovation. The Hotel Cabana offers modern guest rooms and suites with modern-day style and amenities. Every guest room includes a microwave, refrigerator, and Wi-Fi. Located at 423 East 23rd Avenue, North Wildwood. Call 609-522-7508 or visit

The Wild Resort

A new Wildwood Boardwalk hotel named The Wild Resort will be located at Glenwood Avenue and the Boardwalk. The entire facade of the Boardwalk’s retail stores undergo renovations to include a hotel lobby and cafe on the Boardwalk, with a second-floor restaurant and pool, and hotel rooms and luxury suites with private balconies overlooking the ocean. The Wild Resort is expected to open in 2025.

Mahalo Resorts

Mahalo Resorts, formerly the Regal Plaza Beach Resort, is under construction. For more information on Mahalo Resorts, visit   

New Dining Establishments

There are a host of new places to eat and drink in the Wildwoods to tempt every palette and price range. The following establishments opened in 2023:

Starbucks: Located at the corner of Rio Grande Blvd. and Park Ave., Starbucks has opened its new and only location in the Wildwoods, offering a drive-through and window pick-up. The location opened in September 2023 serving their famous roasted coffees, specialty drinks, and food items. It has joined the other new restaurants and eateries that beckon visitors to craft a foodie adventure in the Wildwoods – with expansive choices along the Boardwalk and in the Downtown, keeping the list of places to dine and nosh fresh and fun.

Stephen’s Restaurant: Serving breakfast and dinner. Located at 401 E. Wildwood Ave., Wildwood, 609-849-9037. Visit

Utterly Ice Cream, Cereal, and Coffee Bar: Featuring cereal-infused ice cream. Located at 3411 Pacific Avenue, Wildwood, 609-522-0590. Visit

Brandon’s Pancake House & Ice Cream Parlor: Pancakes and ice cream treats. Located at 6200 New Jersey Avenue, Wildwood Crest, 609-305-4807. Visit

Charlie’s Sandwich Shop: Brooklyn-style Italian subs. 5400 Pacific Avenue, Wildwood. Visit

Newly Renovated Movie Theater
Old Movies by the Sea, a century-old theater, has been updated to its former glory, offering a 40-seat movie house screening golden age films and hosting live comedy performances, birthday parties, and events. Located at 4005 Pacific Avenue, Wildwood, 631-834-5480. Visit:

Boardwalk Renovations
Boardwalk Facelift
The Wildwoods’ world-famous Boardwalk is also getting a facelift, thanks to a five-phase, multi-year project that will see most of the Boardwalk located in the City of Wildwood refurbished and replaced. Phase 1 was completed just before Memorial Day Weekend 2022, and covered the wooden way stretch from Oak to Maple Avenues. Phase 2 was completed in 2023 and covered Maple Avenue up to 26th Avenue. Completion of Phase 3 is on the horizon and will cover Oak Avenue to Schellenger Avenue, including the Cedar Avenue extension.

Cedar Avenue Extension
Phases 1 and 2 of the Cedar Avenue Extension Boardwalk Reconstruction project spans from 26th Avenue to Oak Avenue. This significant milestone marks a pivotal project to enhance the beauty and accessibility of the Boardwalk. The extension will improve and revitalize the Boardwalk experience for residents and visitors alike.
Phase 3, the final phase of the Boardwalk Reconstruction Project covering the stretch from Oak Avenue to Schellenger Avenue, includes the Cedar Avenue Extension which covers Cedar Avenue to Atlantic Avenue. The project will feature a Boardwalk entryway with a large Boardwalk sign and entryway pavers along with decorative archways and lighting. This crucial phase will continue the destination’s commitment to creating a more inviting and enjoyable Boardwalk for all.

Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) Projects

Completed Projects

  • Completed ProjectsImproved Accessibility: Upgrades at 26th St, Maple, & Spicer Ave enhance street-end Boardwalk access and ADA compliance.
  • Boardwalk Revitalization: Ongoing work to transform the iconic Wildwood Boardwalk for future generations.
  • Master Plan: Development of a comprehensive plan to guide the Wildwoods’ future growth.
  • Enhanced Security: Modern security cameras at key locations including the Boardwalk to provide improved safety.
  • Audio Upgrade: New speakers and sound system on the Boardwalk to ensure better sound quality for entertainment and announcements.
  • Cleaner Streets: Installation of new trash receptacles.
  • Traffic & Streetscape: Studies to improve traffic flow and streetscape aesthetics.
  • North Wildwood Boardwalk: Significant renovations.
  • Boardwalk Reconstruction (Phases 1 & 2): Successful completion from 26th Street to Oak.
  • Phase 3 (Winter 2023): Completion of Oak to Schellenger, including Cedar Avenue Extension.

Upcoming Projects
Approved UEZ projects in planning stages:

  • 3000 Boardwalk: Adding 75 hotel units.
  • 3700 Pacific Ave. (former Shamrock Nightclub):  20 units.
  • 323 E Oak Ave.: 9 units.
  • 401 E Magnolia: 17 units.
  • 221 E. Lincoln Ave. (Former Harbor Inn): Commercial Beer Garden.
  • Scott Peter Marina:  54 Boat Slips, Retail Store, 16 Residential Units.

Sinclair Gas Station
In keeping with the Wildwoods’ Doo Wop retro vibe, the Riggins Family invested in the creation of a nostalgic and fun experience with first-rate service at Sinclair Gas Station. Sinclair was an early 1900s throwback gas station brand that became a highlight for visitors driving throughout America. Sinclair Gas Stations were popular among children because of their green dinosaur logo dubbed Dino. He was featured in advertising and as a statue at every gas station. To pay homage to its famous past, the new Sinclair station includes a retro sign, old-fashioned gas pump, and yes, Dino.

Pacific Avenue Downtown Development
The commercial corridor along Pacific Avenue in Wildwood is continuing to evolve as well, thanks to a five-year designation from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP). NPP provides funding to assist with economic and community development projects designed to help revitalize the designated area of Downtown Wildwood and ensure future economic success. This designation includes an initial $125,000 grant that, pending future years’ budget approvals, will be awarded at the same level of funding annually through 2026.

The designation is centered around the Pacific Avenue Downtown Business District between Taylor Avenue and Byrne Plaza. The NPP also includes technical assistance from the state’s team of placemaking and community development professionals. Projects are created by the designation’s Stakeholder Team, which solicits feedback from the community – in the form of a survey and several focus groups – to help plan the projects for implementation. These developments will enable Pacific Avenue to establish greater economic security and viability, creating an attraction that is inviting for families, while also being bikeable and walkable. The Downtown District is just two blocks from the Wildwoods’ beach and Boardwalk and is a prime location for developers seeking to build commercial, residential, and hotel properties.

Free Beaches
The Wildwoods beaches will continue to be free with no beach tags required. GWTIDA provides substantial funding to each of the three municipalities of the Wildwoods for beach maintenance, cleaning, and lifeguard protection. The award-winning FREE beaches in the Wildwoods are like no other. They are expansive, clean, and safe with plenty of room to spread out. These pristine beaches have been voted ‘Best Beaches in New Jersey’ and ‘Top 10 Beaches in the US’ time and time again.

The Wildwoods are experiencing incredible growth and a whole new chapter of excitement and revitalization. Developers and visitors alike are welcome to visit the Wildwoods to see what all the buzz is about!


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