OCEAN CITY – Despite hesitations over the date and the lineup of this summer’s OC Air Show, it turned out to be a success and the numbers prove it to be the best year yet.
“We had a very successful weekend,” OC Air Show President Bryan Lilley said. “We successfully skirted the weather and got two full days of the air show in.”
Lilley said the feedback received from spectators and performers have all been incredibly positive.
“From our perspective, this was our most successful year we have to date,” he said.
Lilley added this year the performer line up was themed “Year of Extreme Flight” and it was incredibly well received. He said the theme was the first of its kind, and it was picked up in many media outlets including the areas of Baltimore, Washington D.C, and Philadelphia, also as far as Indiana and South Carolina.
“Our favorite piece is we made the front page of the Baltimore Sun,” Lilley said. “Two thirds of the fold was a photo of Rob Holland going vertical with the town in the background.”
According to Lilley, the demoflush count of last weekend was 260,000, which matches the demoflush in 2009 and that year was until this year’s Air Show the most successful year.
“To achieve that number once again being back on the second weekend of June, we think is tremendous and I think we definitely can see a difference,” he said.
Lilley added the web traffic to the OC Air Show’s website this year was just fewer than 48,000 visitors, which was up from last year when it was 40,000 visitors. The event’s Facebook page also saw great traffic.
“We have over 4,700 fans and are very active on our Facebook page,” he said. “We had 109,000 post views in the last 90 days, so we get a lot of information out and get a lot of feedback there … and a lot of great photos all the fans are putting up.”
Lilley said by using Google Analytics he is able to retrieve information on what areas the website traffic is received from.
“I know a lot of people came into town because we had as much of a six-mile back-up getting into town, but I know there’s interest in how many people come and spend the night here and fill hotel rooms and stay for the weekend,” he said.
According to Lilley, out of the 48,000 visitors to the event’s website, 38 percent were from Maryland, 16 percent from Pennsylvania, 11 percent from D.C, 7 percent from Virginia, 6 percent from Delaware, 6 percent from New York and 3 percent from New Jersey.
“This was a record year for revenues in ticket sales,” Lilley said. “Last year, we were down in numbers but flat revenue wise and this year we are going to be up somewhere in the 10-12 percent neighborhood in ticket sales.”
This year’s OC Air Show took place June 11-12. The co-headliners were the F-18 Super Hornet and the AV-8B Harrier jet demo teams. Other military performers included the A-10 Warthog, the C-17 Globemaster III, the gigantic C-5 Galaxy and the sleek B-2 Spirit “stealth bomber.” Also the U.S. Army Special Ops Black Daggers and the 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles performed a joint night jump over the beach during the Miller Lite Saturday Night Beach Party.
The Red Bull Helicopter and pilot Chuck Aaron performed as well as civilian stunt pilots Rob Holland in his Veterans Home Loan MX-2 and pilot Mike Goulian in his A-36 Bonanza. Other civilian performers included Tim Weber in his skywriting GEICO Extra 300, pilot Sean Carroll in his Yak-9, and the precision group flying of Team RV.
In concluding his report during Tuesday afternoon’s Mayor and City Council, Lilley thanked the city and said, “You guys are like our partner and I think our teams have always worked well together.”