TODAY   |  May 25, 2013

Jersey Shore reopens: ‘I didn’t want the storm to beat me’

The force of Superstorm Sandy washed away the pier and destroyed Jersey Shore’s iconic rollercoaster. In the last few weeks, the push to rebuild has reached a frenzy for mainstays around the boardwalk, with residents and shopkeepers saying that reopening is the next step in the healing process. NBC’s Michelle Franzen reports.

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>> is not keeping people away from parts of the new jersey shore this weekend. the area is open for business just seven months after being devastated by hurricane sandy. michelle franzen is in seaside heights , new jersey. michelle, good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, lester. the we opening of the boardwalk and the jersey shore is symbolic of a comeback after sandy. tourism, a vital component of the garden state 's economy and businesses hope this summer will help put them back on the map.

>> i love seaside.

>> reporter: the rain and gray skies not enough to keep people away from seaside heights all to help restore the shore.

>> the weather could be better. we're having a good time.

>> reporter: the boardwalk and beach dramatically changed.

>> good to see they are rebuilding and they're working hard. i wish it was back to the way it was. you know, hopefully it will be better.

>> reporter: better and on the mend.

>> a couple months ago they said we would be ready for the summer. we didn't think it would happen. looks like they are. it's really great to see.

>> reporter: jersey strong, seven months after sandy tore apart businesses and homes up and down the shore. nbc news got a first look at the destroyed boardwalk after the storm.

>> when you see all of the devastation in an area where you guys have lived. the force of sandy washing away the pier and destroying the iconic roller coaster . crews recently dismantled the coaster and in the last few weeks the push to rebuild has reached a frenzy. for mainstays, reopening is also the next step in the healing process .

>> i didn't want the storm to beat me.

>> reporter: it's the same spirit on coney island , new york's battered historic boardwalk also rebuilt and open for business this holiday weekend. including the shore front new york aquarium devastated by sandy.

>> you're going so see all our marinale mammals.

>> reporter: fresh from rehearsal along with other sea life ready to wow the crowds. despite this cool weather and rainy weather, people are filtering out on the boardwalk. the recovery process is still ongoing. stretches of the boardwalk and beaches are under construction.

>> good to see them coming back so quickly. thanks very much.