Blogging at Sea June 10, 2017: How Maggy and I fell in love and stumbled upon Holly Shores.

By the time you read this blog I will be on my way north to bring back our boat to Cape May. It is a 1999 Miller Sport Fisherman. The trip takes about 7-9 days. We run about 10 hours a day, stop and clean the boat, eat dinner, and crash. The scenery and experience are indescribable but the days are definitely long.

In the last 18 years I have been asked countless times how Maggy and I met and how did we come to own a campground.

You will laugh but it probably started when I was just five years old and Maggy wasn’t even born yet! My grandfather was real estate investor who purchased properties that he thought would be marketable in the future. He would buy low and hold on until his vision became a reality. In 1954 Cape May was really a city at the end of the line.

He purchased hundreds of acres in the eastern part of the city at tax sale with the promise to start developing the area in order to help the city’s taxable property income. To his benefit the Garden State Parkway, 107 miles long was completed in 1957 which made it easier to get to Cape May.

Nevertheless, Cape May still was considered a long shot in 1957. It wasn’t until the early 1970’s that the development started to accelerate. I was then 21 years old and just completing my education. My uncle, Phil Robinson, asked me to go to Cape May and help with selling homes in the community now known as Village Greene Homes.

His partner, Maggy’s father, Tom Brodesser was my boss. Maggy’s beauty, confidence and ability to care deeply for others were glaringly apparent the first minutes we met. We knew each other from that time forward and after failed marriages for both of us we renewed our friendship, fell deeply in love, and married in 1991. We were living in Philadelphia, I worked for Pella Window and Door, and Maggy was a registered Nurse. Her parents were running their own campground, Beachcomber, and told us that Holly Shores was for sale.

“We were looking all over, from Virginia to Upstate New York, when all of a sudden Holly Shores popped up for sale in our own back yard.”, said Maggy. We sold everything we owned and moved to Cape May in February of 1999. We had no housing except for a 1950’s mobile home on site.

I worked for Pella during the week and Maggy stayed and developed the park. That is how it went for the next three years until I could move down to Cape May permanently and help Maggy run the park. Every year we have reinvested our earnings into the park to make it one of the best campgrounds in the United States. Scroll below to see pictures of the parks renovation when we purchased it in 1999.

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