The Wildwoods Grand Gateway, a visitor experience that welcomes the tourist destination’s nine million annual visitors to the New Jersey corridor with a “Doo Wop” nostalgia themed sign in the shape of a surfboard. A second sign in the shape of a large wave holding up a digital sign used primarily to promote the events taking place throughout the island, inside the Convention Center, along the beach and on the area’s three-mile boardwalk.
The new gateway is immediately seen by visitors entering the barrier island in southern New Jersey and plays off the area’s famous mid-century modern architecture. It also features an artistic mural on a new pump station wall, and dozens of large Wildwoods signature cement beach ball bollards strategically scattered around the sign and along the corridor.
“We had a static billboard located in that area that we updated every two weeks to keep it current,” said Ben Rose, director of marketing and public relations for The Greater Wildwood Tourism Improvement and Development Authority (GWTIDA). “With our Watchfire sign we can change messages at any time to keep events current and to display public service information.”
The digital sign has been helpful in communicating timely COVID-19 messages, such as social distancing and mask requirements, and will be used for public safety messages, like hurricane evacuation instructions, when needed.
GWTIDA selected Watchfire following a competitive bid process. “We spoke with other Watchfire sign owners along the Jersey shore, and Watchfire received high recommendations for both the product’s ability to resist the corrosive effects of the area’s salty air and their customer service,” said Rose.
Rose’s team also gives Watchfire high praise for its ease of use, and the ability to create and schedule messages from anywhere wireless internet is available. Although the sign faces west, it remains bright and clear even during the late afternoon and evening.