Crowd Disparities Merit Some Discussion

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Crowd
Disparities Merit Some Discussion

Judging
the success of the summer season has long been tricky business, and it
frequently just depends on whom you ask and in what industry they are in. One
operation’s week of high sales can pale to a competitor across the street,
while the same two businesses could see the opposite results a week later.

With
that randomness the norm, most around Ocean City seem to agree the summer is
going fairly well in a general sense. However, a disturbing trend seems to have
set in this summer. The weekends are extremely busy with the resort appearing
near capacity and the weekdays are soft or at a minimum lacking the punch of
the weekends.

While
it always depends on who you ask, there’s no question the weekends are crowded
and resulted in solid sales for most. Some say it’s mostly day-trippers but “no
vacancy” signs are rampant on the weekends, albeit a result of last-minute
check-ins on many fronts. People are staying in the resort. Whether it’s more
than in years past will be confirmed or refuted by room tax figures.

The
problem is take a leisurely drive around town during the week, as we did
Wednesday, and rarely is a “no vacancy” sign spotted, there are few lines at
local restaurants at dinner hour and the roads are less congested.

Clearly,
the weekends are swinging and the weekdays either represent a significant
decline or a disturbing trend of previous seasons. Ocean City tries to answer
this issue with a slew of free offerings, ranging from bonfires, and movies on
the beach, live music on the beach and at Sunset Park and family Olympic-style
events, among others.

Offering
something for free to families and other visitors is a wise course to chart,
but what these events do is simply offer value to the vacation experience. People
do not come here just for these events. They are attended, and likely enjoyed
because they are appealing, as a result of people already being in the area and
learning about something free being on tap.

Ocean
City’s marketing plan has been tweaked in recent years, as a result of new
dollars becoming available through a creative room tax plan. That was smart and
portions of these new dollars are devoted to pumping up weeks on the calendar
that are traditionally weak as well as targeting regional residents that
historically never vacationed at Maryland’s coast.

Many
businesses, such as restaurants and hotels, offer weekday specials already
because they see the drastic drops in business between Saturdays and Mondays.
Varying levels of success have been reported on those fronts, but the attempts
are valid and there are good deals available.

After
the summer is over and some time for review and contemplation has been allowed,
some official talks need to take place to discuss the disparity between the
weekdays and weekends.

It’s
always assumed the weekends will be stronger, as second-home residents likely
converge on Ocean City in droves after the workweek. However, it can also be
said that more efforts need to be made to make this a little bit more level and
to ease the drastic drop in business.

 

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