Resort Increases Fest Beer Prices

OCEAN CITY – Beer prices
will reflect a $1 increase from now on at Sprinfest and Sunfest, after a
unanimous decision by the Recreation and Parks Committee and the City Council
this week to increase the price of beer.

“We have not increased
the price of beer in five years,” reported Special Events Director John
Sullivan.

Currently, the town
allows certain non-profit organizations to sell beer at town festivals, such as
Sprinfest and Sunfest. All of the profits garnered by the non-profit groups are
then utilized for community projects, in essence reverting back to the local
community.

Currently, non-profit
organizations sell beer at town festivals for $2 per 12-ounce cup, resulting in
gross revenue of $330 from a half-barrel keg, which yields 165 cups. The town
charges each non-profit $50 per keg for the right to sell beer at the events,
while distributors charge $56 to $71 per keg, depending on the number sold.
Currently, the minimum profit equals roughly $209 per keg, reported Sullivan.

Sullivan compared the
town’s festival beer prices with other venues and products. On average,
20-ounce bottles of water, lemonade and soda sell for $3 to $4. The Salisbury
Festival charges $3 for a 12-ounce beer. “Pork in the Park” also charges $3 for
a 12-ounce beer. The Shorebirds Stadium charges up to $5 for a 12-ounce beer
and $6 for a 16-ounce beer. In town, premium beers, such as Guinness, are sold
for $4 for a 16-ounce beer at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Sullivan suggested
increasing the prices, noting that the last price increase came in 2003, when
the prices were increased from $1.50 to $2.

Sullivan recommended
increasing the price of the 12-ounce beer to $3, which results in an increase
in gross revenue per keg from $300 to $495. Other suggestions included
increasing the cup size to 16 ounces at $3 or $4 per cup.

“We didn’t want the
bigger cup, I don’t think the council was interested in the 16-ounce cup,” said
Council President Joe Mitrecic.

Sullivan noted that
gross revenues would increase for the non-profit organizations. The minimum net
revenue would also increase, rising 75 percent to $364 per keg.

“That money goes to the
non-profits. You keep the same amount of beer going out, but you give the
non-profits more money,” said Sullivan.

“The more they get, the
better off they are,” agreed Lloyd Martin. “It all goes back to the community
anyway.”

Sullivan suggested
increasing the town’s fee from $50 to $60 per keg.

The committee voted
unanimously to increase the price per 12-ounce cup from $2 to $3, as well as
increase the town’s fee per keg from $50 to $60. The council later weighed in
on the issue Tuesday, voting unanimously to approve the recommendation.

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