Seaside Heights motel owners fight plan to raise rental age to 21

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Toni Yates has more on the plan from Seaside Heights.

In an attempt to crack down on underage drinking, a shore town in New Jersey is hoping to prohibit anyone under the age of 21 from renting a room unless they're accompanied by their parents.

Seaside Heights wants to make it happen, claiming it will help prevent groups of young people from getting too rowdy. But some businesses aren't happy with the plan.

It's prom and graduation season in Seaside Heights, and hotels and motels are loving it.

But Mayor Tony Vaz says that for years, underage drinking, vandalism and rowdiness around town have been a problem during this pre-summer season. So he wants age limits on who can rent rooms.

"I did see good kids, but you have that handful who think there are no rules when you come here," he said.

Motel owners say age restrictions might hurt this early season.

"The weekend is the only time we make money, and only kids come down," said Jignesh Dudhwala, who owns the Anchor Motel. "We can't afford to lose this business."

Some motel owners say they know how to handle the younger crowds. The Sunrise Motel has security guard Joe Cort on duty, and kids sign the rule book.

"It makes the kids feel safe," he said. "Parents feel safe, and they have my phone number."

Motel owners say they will fight any move that might hurt business.

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