Jersey Shore Shop Owners Welcome Snooki And Company Back Home

'You can't pay for the exposure we've got,' says Danny Merk, who owns the store where the cast worked in season one.

In addition to keeping local law enforcement busy (really busy), the stars of MTV's "Jersey Shore" have also made an impact of a different sort on the town of Seaside Heights, New Jersey: an economic one.

Seems business is booming on the boardwalk, especially now that the show is back in town to tape its third season. Seaside Heights Business Improvement District executive director Maria Maruca probably summed it up best when she told MTV News earlier this year that "we can't even calculate the economic benefit" the show brings to the community.

"There's the curiosity factor," she said. "Celebrities draw crowds. That's going to give us an edge that we didn't have before. The exposure that the show brought to Seaside Heights — when every late-night host is talking about Snooki, when Leonardo DiCaprio is talking about the show — we could never have afforded that type of media. This is more than we could ever have asked for."

So, determined to find out just how Snooki and company have helped out local businesses, we trekked out to the boardwalk and asked owners of some of Seaside's best-known shops — some of which have already been featured prominently on the show.

" 'Jersey Shore' has helped Seaside Heights [in] both winter and summer. We get people coming in here every day looking for the cast," said Michael Carbone, owner of the Beachcomber Bar and Grill (the same place where Snooki was hit last season). "You go down by the house, there's a hundred people standing outside, every day. Business is up, the town is up. People come here for the 'Jersey Shore.' "

The Beachcomber benefits doubly, as it has a catering contract with MTV and, according to an NBC News report, serves thousands of meals for the 130 crew members who work on the "Shore."

"It's helped everybody. Businesses in town, the motel owners, even the crew that makes the show have been patrons of my bar every night," Carbone said. "We are hoping the show runs for years and years to come. ... It's a big craze, and it's doing very well for everybody."

Those sentiments are echoed by Danny Merk, who owns the Shore Store, where the cast of the show (sorta) worked during season one.

"It's been busy in here all the time now. It's great that I own a gift shop ... people wanna buy little souvenirs. T-shirts. Little things, and this is the place to be at," he said. "But it's helped all the business on the boardwalk, because you can't just shop at one store. ... You can't pay for the exposure we've got.

"It came out of nowhere, [and] all of a sudden the kids came down here. They worked like average kids during the day, went out to the clubs at night," he continued. "Now, it's just nonstop. Everyone wants to see what they are doing. What did they do, what places they went to. They want to be like them. A lot of people just worship them."

Even though his store wasn't featured on the show, Mike Rariden's Adrenaline Body Piercing and Tattoo shop has definitely reaped the benefits of the toned (and tatted) "Jersey Shore" kids — even if he can't seem to comprehend just why.

" 'Jersey Shore' has definitely brought a lot more people out than it has been in previous years. Everybody is trying to get in on the action, get on the show, meet the cast and crew," he said. "They've definitely increased business a lot. ... [There's] a big population of younger kids that all look at Snooki as their hero. I don't know why, but, hey."

Don't miss "Jersey Shore" every Thursday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.