Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

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Although some officials are privately confident the Dew Tour will be back next summer, officials with Alli Sports, who organize the entire operation, are not ready to go there just yet. This is understandable, considering the Dew Tour is currently in Portland, the second of its four-leg summer series, and will then move to Salt Lake City in September and Las Vegas in October.

When asked last week by staff writer Joanne Shriner about the prospects of returning to Ocean City for the 2012 event, Alli Sports General Manager of Events Chris Prybylo issued this statement, which I think can only be taken as good news, albeit not definitive.

“The Pantech Open was a great experience across the board for the Dew Tour, with positive feedback from sponsors, athletes and spectators,” said Prybylo. “The entire community contributed to the success of the event, and Ocean City served as a fantastic backdrop for our national and world-wide television coverage. We are looking forward to discussing 2012 and beyond with Ocean City officials in the immediate future."

It’s not shocking one bit that there are problems with the scoot coupes in Ocean City. What is mildly surprising is there haven’t been more accidents with them.

In many ways, this summer was a free pass for the rental companies who offer scoot coupes. The state law was just passed allowing them on Maryland roads, and Ocean City was fairly powerless to make any adjustments once the law was approved. The end result has been a major proliferation of scoot coupes on Coastal Highway. Nearly every scooter rental company now seems to offer them.

The addition of scoot coupes to an already congested and busy Coastal Highway has been interesting to observe. On a number of occasions, as expected, it’s crazy on Coastal Hightway, as the coupes and scooters swerve in and out of the bus lane and in some cases simply drive along in the travel lanes as if they were any other permitted vehicle. On a specific instance, I marveled over how three guys were cruising in the bus lane next to each other. One was on a scooter, the other in a scoot coupe and another on a scooter. They were riding next to each other on Coastal Highway in the bus lane, each dodging the storm drains along the way and going in and out of the travel lane.

Many have observed over the summer how it seems impossible for these scoot coupes to be able to keep up with motorists on the highway. In many cases, that’s because the engine is larger than permitted. The question is whether the rental companies are aware of this fact. My guess is many are not inspecting them to see if the engine meets the code.

Next summer will be a different story, as police pledge to have a policy in place to address this situation, and that’s good news.

Finally, some positive exposure has come from Ocean City having bars and restaurants on practically every block of the resort.

“Ocean City, Md.: America’s Most Affordable Fun City” — that’s what the headline read on MSNBC Wednesday.

Apparently, this ranking stems from an objective look at median home prices in certain zip codes compared to state median zip codes (they must be within 20 percent of each other to qualify) and compares that with the population and to the number of bars and restaurants.

Ocean City was No. 1 with 277 bars and restaurants, a population of 10,246 (not sure where that came from because that’s about 3,000 residents too high) and a median home price of $243,600.

Rounding out the top 10 were Ala Moana-Kakaako, Honolulu, Hawaii; Tempe, Ariz.; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Greenville, S.C.; Sacramento, Calif.; Wilmington, N.C.; Anchorage, Alaska; Makiki, Hawaii; and Winston-Salem, N.C.

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