Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

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The results of a recent survey on tourism were much more of a confirmation of visitor preferences than a revelation. Nonetheless, the survey’s findings could go a long way toward identifying vacation trends. Some of the more interesting findings I thought were:

– Of the 2,202 surveys received, the top reason why people said they would vacation elsewhere was high costs.

– Seventy percent scored their experience in Ocean City as either an 8 or above on a scale of 1-10.

– Forty-seven percent said the beach was the best part of Ocean City.

– Of those surveys returned, 47 percent reported visitors were staying only two to four nights.

Considering the amount of time it has been on the market, it was not a surprise to see auction signs posted recently on the Berlin Hardware buildings on Main Street. Pete Richardson Auction Sales is handling the auction, which is set for Wednesday, Oct. 24. Along with the real estate, the inventory and fixtures will also be sold. Interested parties were allowed this week to inspect the two units, which will first be auctioned separately and then together. Although it’s unknown whether they were simply gawking or were actually interested, sources indicate there was substantial interest via foot traffic at Tuesday’s inspection. There will be another opportunity next Tuesday. Around Berlin, this property is being watched closely because there are currently at least two other commercial properties for sale on Main Street or nearby.

At an Ocean City subcommittee meeting this week, the success of last month’s Sunfest event was reported. During the discussion, the idea of allowing vendors to sell wine at Sunfest was broached as well as increasing the size of the beer cups to 16 ounces from 12 ounces. I think it’s a good idea to bring wine to Sunfest, although the plastic cups it will surely be served is not appealing to me. While the wine concept should be supported because many prefer it to beer and why not wash down an enormous turkey leg with a merlot, I think the town would be wise to keep the beer cups at 12 ounces. I enjoy a beer as much as anyone else, but I think raising it to 16 ounces serves little purpose and makes me wonder why fix what’s not broken. I have enjoyed plenty of beers at Sunfest and Springfest and have never thought to complain about the serving size. One of the driving factors behind having a beer at Sunfest is the hope you are helping a certain cause or nonprofit organization. It’s not about the serving size or even what you pay for it.

If you are familiar with north Ocean City, you know about the bizarre light on 131st Street. It’s known best as the Schaefer light because lore has it the former governor advocated the State Highway Administration (SHA) years ago to erect a light there so he could more easily get to one of his favorite restaurants – J/R’s Ribs. The light could be coming down if the city approves SHA’s recommendation. A 3-2 vote was recorded this week to get rid of the light, but the council wants to wait to hear the opinion of Councilman Lloyd Martin, who was absent from the meeting, lives in north Ocean City and surely knows the light well.

Let’s take a look inside some numbers:.

14,418: Dollars in profit from the headline acts at Sunfest last month. Specifically, $92,000 was spent to lure the Hubcaps, Josh Gracin and Heartland and Wayne Newton to Ocean City and ticket sales generated $106,418.

93: Degrees in Fahrenheit according to a Bank of Ocean City sign in Ocean City on Tuesday afternoon.

35: Days the Route 50 bridge could be closed for repairs in January and February if state funding is approved for the project.

17: Criminal arrests reported by the Ocean City Police Department over the four-day Cruisin’ event. It’s worth noting there were 19 reported by the same agency over Bike Week.

1,007: Number of condominiums and homes sold in Ocean City and Ocean Pines through the first nine months of the year, according to the ARIS Multiple Listing Service. There were 1,209 sold in 2006; 1,918 in 2005; and 2,025 in 2004.

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