- Associated Press - Friday, May 26, 2017

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made his final annual Memorial Day weekend trip to the shore as governor on Friday, visiting a new rollercoaster that replaced one destroyed in Superstorm Sandy and touting the region’s continued tourism rebound.

Christie visited Seaside Heights as the unofficial start of the summer season begins up and down the coast.

He helped christen the Hydrus, the 72-foot-tall, 1,000-foot-long rollercoaster on the boardwalk that replaces the iconic Jet Star, washed away by Sandy in one of the storm’s most enduring images.

The Hydrus is built above the beach at the Casino Pier amusement park rather than over the water, to prevent another potential catastrophe.

Christie’s office said New Jersey’s tourism economy has grown for seven straight years, and visits to shore areas showed a 3.3 percent increase last year.

)The Republican has made trips to the shore on the Friday before Memorial Day a tradition. He will leave office in January.

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