OCEAN CITY – There is little doubt that this past summer’s air show was a success, and officials are already looking ahead to next year’s event.
At this Monday’s Mayor and Council meeting, a review of the air show took place. Susan Childs, internal auditor for Ocean City, reviewed the total spending of the venue. A budget of $50,000 was included in the town’s spending plan for the event. What was actually spent was over budget but refunded by Brian Lilley of Ocean City Air Show LLC at the meeting.
The discussion immediately turned to the best available dates for next summer’s show.
“Well, our date that we have announced is our primary date and that is June 11 and 12, 2011,” Lilley said. “The only thing that could potentially move us a week earlier would have to do with potential jet team scheduling opportunity. The second week of June is a better weekend to do the Air Show because from all of our studies it has to do with kids being out of school.”
In expressing the voice of Ocean City’s businesses, Councilwoman Mary Knight said they prefer it be the first week in June.
“For businesses, they feel that the first week in June is a better week because there are not a lot of folks in town and they can offer discounts on rooms and they can offer more to you in availability,” she said.
Another aspect taken into consideration at this week’s meeting was the presence of high school graduates.
“The first and second week in June, the seniors are in town and that is a very good recruiting opportunity [for the armed forces],” Knight said.
Lilley added, “We do want to make sure we are in the window of senior week because obviously of the unique recruiting opportunity and our attendance number is part of what makes us stand out.”
There are a few things to consider in scheduling the air show. Besides who is going to be in town but what other venues and conventions will be happening at the same time.
“One thing we had to look at is in 2009 we overlapped with the firemen’s convention and that is a very big week for Ocean City,” Lilly said. “And in 2011 that convention starts the weekend of June 18 and 19, the third weekend of June.”
Lilley also shared some exciting news for the air show’s future.
“Recently we are in active discussion in bringing the United States Navy Blue Angels here in the future,” he said. “The Blue Angels went through a two-year scheduling process last year. So, they have already scheduled 2011. So, we are discussing 2012 and even 2013.”