OCEAN CITY – Annapolis, not Ocean City, will be the host city for the finish line of the internationally recognized Race Across America this year.
The popular bicycle race across the country will be finishing in Annapolis this year, despite considerations given to have Ocean City as the final point in the 3,000-mile race.
Earlier this month, at a Tourism Commission meeting, Ocean City Public Relations Director Donna Abbott presented the commission with the proposal for Ocean City to be the finishing line destination. She informed the commission that although the finish line for the bicycle tour across the country had been slated for Atlantic City, N.J. the past few years, the race was looking for a new finish line location.
Abbott explained that the race, which begins in Oceanside, Calif., would have the potential of bringing many “heads in beds” to Ocean City. The event was set to be in June, a time when businesses could use the boost of extra crowds. The internationally followed bike race could also bring the potential for media exposure and essentially free advertising for Ocean City.
According to Abbott, the race director expressed the desire to hold the event in a more “family friendly” town such as Ocean City. The desire to have the beach as a backdrop for the finish line was also expressed.
The only problem that the Tourism Commission saw with the event was its potential scheduling conflict with the Firemen’s Convention and Firemen’s Parade. The commission quickly found a solution however with City Manager Dennis Dare suggesting that the finish line be located on North Division Street instead of at the proposed location at the Inlet.
Unfortunately, despite the enthusiasm expressed during that meeting about the potential for the bike race, Ocean City was not chosen as the final destination. Annapolis will host the finishing line this year for the bicycle race.
Abbott explained that she received an e-mail from the race director informing her of the decision.
“He did say they would likely consider Ocean City as a location to end the race at some time in the future as they like to change the location every few years,” Abbott said.
“I remain optimistic we will have an opportunity to bring the race here at some point down the road,” Abbott added.