Ocean City, County Concerned About Car Rally’s Growth

OCEAN CITY – The most recent Volkswagen rally that swept through the area has led city and county officials to contemplate further restrictions to prevent unapproved special events.

Ocean City resident David Betten approached the Mayor and City Council on Monday over his concerns with the “Volkswagen and Audi enthusiasts” who have congregated to Ocean City over the past several years and are increasing in number every year.

“This event is becoming an even greater nuisance every year,” he said.

H2O International VW Audi Event was held a few weeks ago, Sept. 24 and 25, the same weekend as the town’s main event, Sunfest. H2O International is not a city sponsored event.

According to the event’s website, Ocean City is listed as its venue as well as Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic School in Berlin.

Betten said the VW and Audi participants’ lack of respect is beginning to discourage people from visiting Ocean City on the same weekend as Sunfest. He said the behavior has gotten so bad that he and his wife have left town to avoid it all together as well as others in the building they live.

Betten’s residence hires a security guard, which is usually on duty until Labor Day but due to H2O International the residents have extended the guard’s duties until after the rally has passed through town.

“This year from what was reported from our security guard and others, it was safety issues from the constant drag racing up and down Coastal Highway, it was a public nuisance with the litter and the vandalism, and it is just not a family friendly environment, which is what I know we want,” he said.

Betten added that he admires the Ocean City Police Department in its response times but even this event has gone beyond its control.

“There were cases over the weekend that our security guard called in and they couldn’t respond because they were just swamped,” he said.

Betten asked the Mayor and City Council to take action by perhaps working with the event’s organizers.

“Whatever we can do to control this event because it is affecting me and my neighbors, but it is also affecting the city and it is going to continue to erode your attendance at Sunfest,” he said.

Councilman Brent Ashley said he has received more complaints about H2O International than ever before. He suggested bringing in additional police enforcement from surrounding jurisdictions like what is done during Delmarva Bike Week.

“I think that is the way to go because I agree that if this continues it is going to ruin Sunfest,” he said. “I hope the council would be agreeable in getting the chief to beef up the enforcement for next year.”

Councilman Joe Hall said the business community has embraced H2O International when it arrives in town, and the event isn’t all bad because participants are spending money in town.

“But it is not worth the disrespect,” he said.

Mayor Rick Meehan said he has spoken with county attorney Sonny Bloxom and a representative from the Maryland State Police (MSP) over the matter.

“This event that took place without us really having any control over…it was an Internet organized event so they just showed up,” the mayor said.

Meehan pointed out that there is a special event application process in which organizers have to go through in order to gain approval from the town to have Ocean City as a venue, and so that the town is aware of the services that needs to be provided.

“This wasn’t the case with this event nor was it the case with the county,” he said.

In Snow Hill, the issue was discussed by the Worcester County Commission on Tuesday.

According to Bloxom, the State Police are looking into developing a permitting process that would ensure events like the Volkswagen rally will not have a negative impact on surrounding roads and communities. The permit process will most likely go through the State Highway Administration.

County Commissioner Judy Boggs said the language for the permits will have to be closely monitored so it won’t become too restrictive.

“We don’t want to prevent churches from having carnivals and bazars,” she said.

Meehan said that he has also met with Convention Center Director Rick Hamilton because rally participants had the building’s parking lot become their “homestead”.

“It wasn’t supported by the town, they just kind of showed up there and took up a portion of that lot,” he said.

In the future, there will be a recommendation brought forward to the council for a policy to control the convention center’s parking lot while there are planned events taking place in the building.

“We are going to be working with the county as well as the MSP [Maryland State Police] but it is a problem and it is something that is going to grow if we don’t do something,” Meehan said.

55 comments on “Ocean City, County Concerned About Car Rally’s Growth

  1. Rememeber that sunfest moved to the weekend that H2o was on not the other way around. H2o has een on the same weekend the entire time it has been in Maryland. So whos fault was that. Just saying. and if you dont like toursists regardless of their type dont live in a toursit destination.

  2. You do not need any sort of permit to hold such an event like this anyway. Unless you are using a parking lot such as the convention center you do, but as stated above we had permission. It’s a private even that cars meet at OC, it doesnt involve the community or using such things like sunfest that does require to fill out a permit so last i checked you dont need anything to hold private events unless it involves the use of things at OC. All we do is eat there, and do fun stuff there. Both of things bring in money for the city, and that’s what i thought every city wanted was for it to bring in tons on money so wether your not going to let us have our event there thats a major loss in your book. And the reason noone came to sunfest was look at the weather it rained all weekend so you cant blame the vw/audi enthusiasts for their numbers being low for sunfest, that is just made up by someone, or someones belief

  3. Embrace this event and do it the right way, and you will begin to have a tourist attraction that weekend! Sure they get a lil rowdy but it’s the police’s job to keep them under control. Do that and we will begin to have a great event for this town on our hands! Let’s not ruin it people

  4. I am embarrassed by this article. I grew up going to Ocean City every summer with my family and for the past 6 years I have attended H2o as another vacation. To stereo type VW and Audi the way you have is inconsiderate to the respectful enthusiasts who do attend H2o with their family (most of which do attend with their families). Its not only disrespectful to them but everyone else who attends. Yes I agree their are some people who are out of control while driving down Coastal Highway, but i’m sure that you have people like that all year around. The numbers just increase when the population of Ocean City increases for the weekend.I understand how some residences of Ocean City could be annoyed with the amount of VW and Audi enthusiasts that come to town for a weekend, however if I remember correctly Ocean City is a tourist attraction, after all it is a beach. Whether or not you try and stop the event I can tell you this now, VW and Audi enthusiasts will attend every year, with or with out an event. VW and Audi enthusiasts share a love of European cars and spending time with family, friends, and meeting new people, just like the people who attend sun fest share a love for arts and crafts. I will see Ocean City in 2012 and I am excited to see what next year brings for all the Vw and Audi enthusiasts like myself!

  5. You think that if you take the show away that we are going to stop showing up in OC that week HA! YEA RIGHT get real

    maybe you should pay more attention to the non vw audi people that are actually the ones driving like a$$ holes and causing problems its getting worse every year because every year more and more of the non vw audi carsshow up..

    We arent there to cause trouble we are there to spend our money in your town! relax and enjoy our fellow enthusiasts cars… pretty sure there arent vids of vws drifting corners and doing donuts in the streets on you tube just toyotas and hondas(SHAKING MY HEAD) GET YOU FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE YOU ATTACK US.

  6. you have got to be kidding me. who complains about tourist coming to a tourist town? that crowd drops tons of cash in their cars and tons of cash around town. whats next? families of five or more need to get a permit.

  7. Meehan said that he has also met with Convention Center Director Rick Hamilton because rally participants had the building’s parking lot become their “homestead”.

    “It wasn’t supported by the town, they just kind of showed up there and took up a portion of that lot,” he said.

    No, you have it 100% wrong. You can’t write an article like this unless you have all your facts straight.

    Read this, which was posted by OCPD themselves on the forum. THIS is why everyone was at the convention center, not because they just “took it over”

    http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?5437595-Ocean-City-Convention-Center-Parking-Lot-Access&p=73635242&viewfull=1#post73635242

  8. You know its a bit rediculous how people are saying the VW show is such a nuisance. I was there this year, it was my first year. I saw no problems. If anything the cops are more of nuisance to us then any other reason. For the fact that your security guard called the police and they were busy was not because they were swamped, but indeed they were pulling people over for tickets, that in a respectable court would not hold up! Learn the facts of the whole story before you jump on a group of people who happen to be in the same place at the same time. I also do believe that H20 was a started gathering before Sunfest was ever moved to Ocean City.

  9. It’s rather sad that the general public let the actions of a few sway their opinions of the majority. This event helps to stimulate the local economy, which, I would deem as a positive thing.

    I find it odd that there is no mention of any of the other car events that are located with in the town limited of Ocean City proper, where as this event is located outside of OC’s justisdiction.

  10. Guess what, we don’t care about sunfest, it’s lame. If you guys allow the muscle cars and the bikes then I see no problem with the euros. All I gotta say is good luck getting rid of us and we’ll see you all next September. Deal with it :)

  11. If the people of OC where concerned about the groups of people coming through, they would not have rented out their condo to us. They would not have opened their parking lots to us for different events. Restaurant and bars would not hold special events for us. The Police them selves even opened up and organized are large parking lot with light on until 1am for us. Long story short the few have a problem while the majority love to she the show in their city.

  12. The fundamental idea behind resorts like this is the money tourists bring in. It’s a fun weekend and whether you’re there for H20i, Sunfest or Bikefest, you’re dropping several hundred in the town, not including the money it takes to get there. It’s the beach and it’s to be expected, they’re not a dry town. I mean they have something called a “drunk bus” hahaha. The show is also held way after labor day and it can’t be denied all that money made, well out of season, isn’t much appreciated. It’s obviously a really biased perspective.

  13. I live in a tourist town. People complain about tourist all the time. However we realize that it’s unconstitutional, fiscally irresponsible, morally corrupt and logistically impossible to close an entire city off to a certain group of because of their interests.

    Everyone commenting on the disruption made by H2Oi realizes they live in Ocean City, MD, right? You know, the place all the high school kids from PA go for senior week for the past few decades because of the lax police, infrastructure built to capitalize on them, corrupt businesses who will serve anyone with a shirt alcohol and don’t forget the “drunk bus”.

    Horrible journalism, btw. I know the situation, this was written The show isn’t held in Ocean City, MD. It was held at a church, which organizers then made a sizable donation to.

    The Convention Center was opened to the crowds to limit traffic, drunk driving, irresponsible behavior and contain any potential illegal activities by OC Police Department. It was patrolled all weekend by police. Your Police force did a fantastic job. In fact, the deserve more credit. I’ve come to a number of shows in your fine city. This was probably the best patrolled yet.

    Whoever wrote this should be demoted to answering the phones at the assignment desk. No journalistic integrity, only deadlines.

  14. My husband and I went to OCMD for the first time ever to meet up with your kids who were going to h2oI. We never would have gone otherwise. We spent $200 on a hotel and another $250 on food. People brought their cars, only a few misbehaved. There was plenty of police on hand to rein them in. For the sheer number of participants, the crowd was VERY well behaved.

    David Betten WASN’T EVEN IN TOWN, so why are you complaining about??

    Betten and the mayor should remember what it was like to be young. Or perhaps they never had fun as young adults?

    Here is something bringing money to your town, in ‘off’ season. Money OCMD wouldn’t have otherwise. Maybe you’re not a VW/Audi enthusiast, but life isn’t all about ‘you’.

  15. I have been coming to H2O for 5 years now with my wife and now 8yo daughter, and we typically spend between $800-900 for that 4 day weekend. There was a newspaper article that said there was an estimated 15-20k people in town for the show, some spend less and some spend a lot more, do the math. Our money is just as green. I do agree the disrespectful punks do need to go so we can get H2O back to its relaxed laid back roots. I’ve managed to go and have a blast every year with no tickets, no broken oil pans, and no racing, burnouts, or anything else like that. I don’t know what the answer is maybe more police, more parking lot privileges because if we can’t park we’re going to cruise the strip. Maybe move H2O to the first week of October so the business’s that want our business can stay open an extra week those that don’t want us can close up as usual. I will say that a lot of the cars I saw pulled over we’re not VW’s and most had MD plates. I also think its pretty funny that the locals say they want a family friendly environment with places called ‘big peckers’ ‘the bearded clam’ ‘brass balls’ and ‘BJ’s on the water’.

  16. If the VW folks had a place to have GTG’s without getting run out constantly, it would solve two problems. The street would have a lot fewer cars circulating round and round, and we would have a place to enjoy meeting friends that we only get to see once a year at H2O. Embrace the VW group, let us set up the GTG’s at the Jolly Rogers front and back lots and the other sizable lots. In 2010, the police officer I spoke with said we had to leave after 100 cars had already assembled. I asked him if he would just talk to the management to allow us to park in the huge back lot. He did (I wish I had gotten your name so I could thank you),and they agreed, we had a nice pleasant afternoon meeting with each other and looking at each others cars. Even a few went in and drove their cars, so they even made some money off of us. It was a win/win arrangement. Why can’t the owners of the big lots just allow us to park in their lots, instead of having us chased out which angers everyone. It would be a lot less trouble, and everyone would be happier.

  17. I’ve been attending this show for years and I do enjoy coming to OC because its a combined vacationCar show for me. I can tell you now, regardless if the show is on or off the VWs will come. Its in fact become everyone’s favorite show. I’m sure about 60% of all condos and houses have already been booked for next year. I feel that allowing people hang out in the convention center was a great idea, it did indeed help keep people off the streets. The early involvement of the police was a good idea too. There are bad eggs in every crowd and you cannot tell me that beach week is any better the VW crowed just happens to have a lot more cars. The vandalism that a lot of people end up seeing such as the keying of cars and kicking of doors only encourages the bad behavior. Everyone is here to have fun and spend money, I’m sorry sunfest was moved to the same weekend but I’ve been attending H2O for the last 7 years and sunfest wasn’t around. like I said in the beginning you can plane stop allowing the show to happen but it was made very clear at the beginning of the year if the show wasn’t announced everyone was coming.

  18. Its pretty pathetic that you cant embrace some currency movement in your town. This event will continue to prosper and as mentioned by the writer of this “article” is growing vastly every year. The people of OC should welcome tourist and out of towners into their neighborhoods, we all are in fact Americans and living in the same country with the same freedoms are we not?

  19. What happened to the right to peacefully assemble? Or does that not apply to VW and Audi enthusiasts???

  20. I agree there are more than a few morons who attend this “show weekend” (yeah, it’s a show, not a rally) who don’t use any kind of judgement at all (such as the Toyota – read NOT Volkswagen or Audi – who attempted to climb a flight of stairs at a condo building this year) but there are also mindful and respectful enthusiasts like myself who have been coming to Ocean City for years (multiple times in the same year even) for family vacations and also H2o. Anyone aware of the phrase “a few bad apples ruin the fun for the bunch”? That’s what’s going on here. I thought this year (I’ve been coming since 2004) OCPD had things pretty well under control, compared to years past. There are however a few “facts” in your article that are plain wrong, or misleading however. First of all, OCPD invited enthusiasts to use the Convention Center parking lot for gatherings, even offering to leave the parking lot lights on until 2am. Here’s the proof: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?5437595-Ocean-City-Convention-Center-Parking-Lot-Access&highlight=parking+lot/

    Second of all, the show was officially held in Berlin on private property, as it has been in years past at Ocean Downs. There is no official event held in jurisdiction of Ocean City. The fact that there are thousands of VW/Audi vehicles all over the place all weekend is because there is nowhere else for everyone to stay. And, sorry to say, but there’s no way you prevent people from making vacation plans to visit Ocean City. Not to mention paying thousands of dollars in hotel/condo/house rental rates, fuel, entertainment, and dining income for the town. So, yes you can develop all the ordinances you want, but the fact remains that one of the last 2 weekends in September there WILL BE a gigantic amount of VW/Audi enthusiasts staying in Ocean City, it’s not going to change. Show or no show, we’ll be there (unless you suddenly need permission to enter the state of Maryland). This was the 11th year we’ve all been coming down, I don’t see it suddenly stopping. And I’d like to also take a moment to ask if this weekend is being more closely scrutinized since it happens to be held the same weekend as Sunfest? I’ve been to Ocean City during spring break, senior week, bike week, and ‘vette week (or whatever it’s called) and I can tell you I’ve seen the same stupid antics, same police presence, same environment every time. So would the OC residents also like to see all of those groups kept out? I highly doubt it. People bring money, it’s the only reason Ocean City is as popular of a destination as it is today. Oh, and I’d like to add that I’ve not once been involved in any type of accident or received any citation during any of my stays in Ocean City. So please, be respectful of the visitors whom are respectful of you, and stop stereotyping and labeling. See you in 2012!

  21. We enthusiast suffer damages from the locals every year. Some of you leave.. others stay and carve your hate into our cars.

    The city makes $$$ that weekend.

    You cannot tell anyone that its just the VW/Audi group that causes the issues… the week prior is bike week from what I understand, and you cant say theres no issues there… cause that sounds like a bunch of angels. I also hear that theres muscle car week… as well as the issues that the city has with that.

    Anytime you have an event, you will have some bad apples in the bunch because they believe they can just go and be disrespectful… Trust me, I know from a person who holds a weekly event. But you have law enforcement that is brought in to handle these events. Most of the time when I did see a cop pulling someone over, it was a non enthusiast.

    Something else i’ve noticed. Just like at my show, you get people that drive by, see whats going on, and act a fool. In Maryland, we can be sitting at a location checking out our vehicles and see a diesel truck blow as much black exhaust smoke as possible… WITH MARYLAND PLATES!!! Hows that done? putting your foot down on the gas pedal until floored.

    Sunfest I would say still gets attendees from H2Oi. – More Revenue
    Yes you have some bad apples – They get tickets and other charges – More Revenue
    Stores and other businesses – Count on our Revenue (INCLUDING Hotels, Condos, Townhouses and Home rentals)

    I’d doubt the City would actually close down the event (because they haven’t completely totaled the income from the visit). BUT if they did, people will still arrive every year.

    This is my 3rd year going to OC… I will say its not so much the VW/Audi group rather than more of the people that show up and make a fool of themselves (as the police told a group of us… its not you guys.. its the civics and other cars that are doing something wrong). I won’t say I don’t see cars going fast down the strip… but I can say that police presence was a huge difference this year over the past. I personally never saw a cop until the 2 day out.. whereas, this year the police presence was from day one. (Good Work as this would be step one).

    Also during those years, the damages from residence seems to be growing as well. From keying cars, to flatting tires, and a city vehicle backing into an Audi – OoooOopppps.

    Basically in the end… permit or no permit for the event – It will not stop people from coming to OC at the end of September.

  22. but thats the thing it wasnt a peaceful assembly…there were cars burning out and trying to drive up stairs. like Nick said there were a few bad apples. I was at the convention center almost all weekend and had a blast but even there, some people got arrested. Stuff was stolen, vandilism(cars being keyed), and just stupid mayhem. This was my 1st H2O and im contiplating bringing my car next year for the sake of me having to fix something because someone cant respect what i have done

  23. Sometimes the greater picture escapes a few people.

    Lets say there were 3000 VW / Audi and other enthusiasts in Ocean City for h2o international. Lets say out of the 3000, 2000 of them paid rent. It is safe to assume that every one paying to stay for the show spent around $100… just on rent. That’s $200K in revenue coming into OC. That doesn’t include the cost of food, and of course alcohol.

    Oh yeah… Ocean City was not a venue either. The car show, which was organized by one organization was held in Berlin.

    Residents are complaining about what exactly?

  24. I couldnt have said it any better than Nick. I also have been coming for the past several years and am an auto enthusiast. My friends and I make it a tradition to come down for a long weekend to enjoy OC followed by the car show during the weekend. There are a few bad apples that show up, and believe me, the VW / Audi community do not like them either. I also would like to say I rarely see any “racing” on the strip… Your more likely to see these extremely low cars “cruising” at very low speeds while they watch out for obsticles in the road. The OCPD did try to rally all of the cars into the convention center lot so they could keep an eye on everyone and keep unofficial “meets” out of other private lots. We spend lots of money in OC on an otherwise bust weekend for the businesses. I have respect for the town, do not litter, and have received no violations in my several years in attendance. It should also be noted that procedes from the show are donated to charity and the show coordinator is a resident of Ocean Pines. All in all, if you dont like tourists, dont live in a tourist town. House already booked for next year, see you then!

  25. I would like to leave a very simple comment. You live in a tourist town. Get used to the tourists. Whoever and from wherever they may be. After speaking with many local business owners and residents the fact is that the VW/Audi enthusiasts are far from the worst behaved. With an unequivocal vote from OC residents and business owners Bike Week wins that distinguished award.

    Please do not misdirect your anger toward the easiest bunch. There are many visitors that week/weekend that spend money and respect your town. I think that a conversation with show organizer Jay Shoup is in your best interest because as was said before, this show is n ot going anywhere.

  26. Funny how they want to complain but Im sure if we did all pack up and leave town with all our money they’d complain about sunfest weekend being dead. You people act like we just showed up this year out of the blue. We come down the exact same weekend, every year. If youre still surprised by it maybe you need to move to assisted care living for your alzheimers. But by all means, continue to let bike week be far worse and keep your mouth shut about that, or senior week with all their underage drinking. This was my fourth year and like a previous poster i have never been pulled over and never received a citation, or done anything illegal for that matter. Did i mention Im 23? Do not make assumptions about all of us as we pay your bills.

  27. this is ridiculous. some people do stupid things but many of us do not. We come for vacation not unlike that of people coming for sunfest. Just because people dont like the cars driving around or young people having fun around them there gonna start a problem. The ocean city community is pathetic. You should see what new jersey has to deal with for waterfest, you guys get off easy. And ya Cant ever stop us. A catholic school held our show i mean come on and there not complaining

  28. Funny how the guy that is complaining wasn’t even in town that weekend. Also I was in town and coastal highway was not even all that bad due to the rain everyday. It did not get that out of control. I was at the scene of the accident when the Supra wrecked. Wait did I say Supra? Yes, a TOYOTA supra. Not a VW/Audi. For what I’ve seen the only people who were causing the nonsense if will. Were the outcasts without VW/audis.

  29. I completely agree with everything Nick said…the author needs to check his facts ..OCPD invited the VW/Audi enthusiasts via internet to the convention center..even though it seemed more like a trap and a place to harass the enthusiasts, a way filter people in to write ridiculous tickets..the revenue you earned from senseless tickets alone is mind boggling

  30. My wife and I own a ocean front townhouse in ocean city, and i am not a huge car guy, however i do enjoy the hotrod, motorcycle and corvette weekends. My wife and I both agree that while the VW/ Audi community that comes down for the SHOW (not rally like the 1st post said) might be young adults, and might think they run the town… If you actually attend the show and see the very high quality of cars and the extreme lengths that these guys go to get their vehicles ready for this show, you will see that they are just like the hot rod, corvette and motorcycle guys.

    This VW/ Audi event brings an amazing ammount of money into the town, and you might say that its not worth the antics, and bad reputation…. but money is money.

    I also have read on their website forum that even before this event was officially announced almost all the people attending already had their weekend vacations booked. There is no ordinances or rules/ laws that could be put in place to keep them out.

    Accept the money they bring, and go out of town for the weekend if you dont want to deal with them.

  31. Don’t kid yourself, no one comes to OCMD after august anyway… let alone when its 50 degrees and gusting winds on the beach. You should be thanking the VW/Audi fans for supporting your economy during your city’s down time.

  32. I have always wanted to attend H2O i and have always followed the build up and heard the stories every year and have never had a chance to drive up from Florida. rest assured I’ll be there next year to have a good time.

    It sounds to me as if its like all g2g’s and that there are always some morons that show up and some old fart complains about it because it messes up his every day process of waking up and having brunch at the same place and reading the paper in the same seat for 30 years….big deal. And yes it should damn well be worth the city to deal with such a large show that brings in SO MUCH MONEY…especially in this economy.

    /end thread

  33. So pretty much everyone is welcome but us. I heard through a friend that his friends got “not welcome” keyed on there cars and you call us disrespectful, Now pretty much when we come the season is coming to an end, now you residents hate us we all know from this article but what about business owners? I would like to hear what they have to say. From word a mouth I heard 8,000 people showed up to this event, think about hotel owners and grocery/liquor store owners I’m sure they love us. Last Ocean City Police are probably happy, they wrote a ton of fines that they know were going to pay cause we are from out of state and not going to come back and fight and I mean the tickets that are rediculous no front plate and driving to slow?

  34. My husband and I go to H2O, and I must say I agree with Nick. I thought it went well this year too. If they feel that we are causing that much of a nuisance, why isnt there being much said about senior week and so forth. I feel that that is a big nuisance when I am on the board walk and these kids are cursing and talking about drinking and so on. Its not all just the “H2O” crowd. Its all the time. And this year the sunfest was a wash out, because it rained. We enjoy sunfest when we are down for H2O as well. So with that being said, there are some that get a little out of control. But why ruin something when there are other problems as well?

  35. It’s pretty sad to see residents of a self-proclaimed vacation spot get upset when people come to their town. Tens of thousands of dollars are flooded into the local economy that weekend and all these people are concerned about is a lack of respect. With every bunch there are going to be some bad but look at the big picture. The benefits out-weigh the negatives. Sanctioned or not VW’s will descend upon Ocean City next year with even larger numbers than the year before. All I can hope is that police won’t continue with this year’s agenda to ticket anything they see fit to. Warranted or not. While the city can’t physically stop people from coming they can make it pretty uncomfortable to be there.

  36. I didnt make it down this year, but was down for ’09 &’10…but i can imagine how much its grown just for 2011. The funny thing is, they keep calling it a rally…which its not. I can see peoples opinion about the lack of respect. There are a lot of you vw scensters (yes, you) acting like idiots who are going to ruin it for everyone else.

    The funny thing is they complain about it being busy…but its only 1 (one) weekend out of the year and who cares if vacationers dont come for that weekend? youre still getting more people spicing up the local economy with the growing show.

  37. “Councilman Brent Ashley said he has received more complaints about H2O International than ever before. He suggested bringing in additional police enforcement from surrounding jurisdictions like what is done during Delmarva Bike Week.”
    Ok. Time to complain about bike week.

  38. Nick is absolutely right. I know I alone spent at least a couple hundred bucks in Ocean City that weekend, and I didn’t even drive or pay full rate for a room. These guys drive in, pay for fuel, pay for a condo, spend money at restaurants, gift shops, bars and other attractions, (not to mention the thousands of traffic citations, which also make money for the city) all in Ocean City. They had to make millions! I was there the following Monday and the town was all but deserted in comparison to the life of the weekend. Events like this are how businesses there stay afloat in this economy, and the negative reaction to their presence is foolish on the part of the city officials. They know it’s coming. Does every year. A simple Google search would tell them exactly when to beef up police presence. There’s no reason to discriminate these guys, as the vast majority were safe-driving, respectful people just there to see some cars.

  39. I, too, live in a tourist town. I hate tourists. However, without them, there would be no town. Grow up. This event has been going on for years, same weekend, same place. Yeah, there are a few bad apples, but it all comes down to an entire town judging people by the cars they drive.

  40. I’ve been going to H2O for years, and the past 3-4 years it has gotten worse with cars spilling oil all over from being dangerously low, idiots with bullhorns screaming random things all night and then Toyota Supra’s driving into condos and climbing stairs.

    Basically, the money and business is not worth the mess, headache and oily mess the 80% of them cause.

    What is sad is normal VW/Audi enthusiasts get lumped in and stuck with these clowns.

    This year many cars were keyed, and notes left saying cars were almost keyed. It is obvious locals do not like the event anymore.

  41. i ask anyone from ocean city to come up to the “jersey shore” for one weekend, what is being complained about in this article is what we as new jersey beach residents have to deal with all summer long. it is not just one random weekend but from may to September. At least h20 although has a lot of followers, is closed off to a group of enthusiasts who are there for there love of the automotive culture. it could be worse where you have a tv show inviting people down to your town advertising drunken behavior and violence. like with all groups there will be some bad, but the general populous are good and have pure intentions, of just going down to hang out and have a good clean time with friends. So i say before you go and get upset because of a few idiots during one weekend of the year i say come spend time and realize what we as the “real jersey shore” have to deal with all summer long.

  42. I’ve never seen a tourist town act the way that Ocean City does. That place is built on the number of people that come there over the course of the season. If you don’t want to deal with tourist and out-of-towners, why live in a place that is designed for them? Move to Rehobeth. If any event that weekend needs to be moved, it Sunfest. It wasn’t sunny the whole weekend. I can only imagine how terrible an arts and crafts show could be be in the pouring rain.

  43. I am 62 yrs old and live in West Ocean City and find H2o no more annoying than the cruisers or the motor cycle events.It comes with living in a resort.Welcome to all except those bad apples.

  44. I just want to attempt to clear some things up. By lack of respect you mean the respect that OC officials see during bike week and senior week every year? I guess the people in ocean city see a drunken biker thanking a cop for finding his bike for him in a crowd as an act of respect? For years now this event has been held not only the same month, but the same weekend as years past. Is it that impossible to keep the overflow of authority around from bike week a few extra days to monitor this VW crowd if it is so terrible? I don’t think it’s the mass of just the vw/audi crowd as it is us mixing with the overwhelming amount of people in town for Sunfest. In respect to the litter and trash comment. Are you trying to relay the message that this is the only weekend in ocean city every year that litter and trash are left behind by a crowd due to the lack of trash cans and proper recycling bins in reasonable places along the strip? There are so many negative comments surrounding this event for no other than the reason of us being an “online” organized event without the help of Ocean City. But look at the big picture here. We still spend money, we still buy food, and everyone still has an amazing time at a great venue hell, my girlfriend and I actually spent part of the weekend at Sunfest itself. Our mission is not to come to OC to cause problems and make a bad name for ourselves. But there are problems among any large crowd. Don’t deny it, because you all know it is true. Rather, why not try to embrace it? Plan accordingly and work out the kinks. Allow us as a whole to use parking lots and business lots to gather and keep the traffic and problems off the strip. Permits and charging to use parking lots isn’t going to solve anything on the traffic matter. Place more garbage bins in highly populated areas and have law enforcement help with the organization of gatherings and low key get togethers instead of trying to keep them broken away. As for the venue and “show” itself in relation to Ocean City. What about the inlet? Find a decent weekend that it fits in, have a little communication with show organizers and vendors and that will allow all the traffic overflow and masses of people to be on that end of town instead of on the strip. Isn’t that what keeps bike and hot rod week semi organized? It would allow for an all weekend event instead of channeling all the traffic all over the area at specific times. Plus vendors could take advantage of the board walk space and everyone wins. I have been visiting Ocean City the last weekend in September for 6 years now. Yes, times have changed, but that is only to be expected. There is no denying the event itself has grown by leaps and bounds, but why not try to embrace it instead of push us to take business elsewhere? This event not only attracts local interest but also business from the west coast and multiple countries. I would believe with a little communication and planning this show and weekend as a whole could bring promising and positive business to the Ocean City area and board walk. But it is going to take a little more effort than just writing a negative article in an online forum and hoping people swing on it till next year. Everyone seems to be quick to point fingers at us when something goes wrong. But this “scene” is not just a bunch of young punks with over powered cars that their parents bought. The VW/Audi community does a lot of great things throughout the year including such things as Toys for Tots drives, charity events, and memorial cruises. And, more people then you may care to believe actually do use the weekend as a family vacation with just a car show in the mix. I don’t expect this to change the minds of anyone involved but I can at least know that said my piece in trying./

  45. Whatever these people spend, in the long run it will be counterproductive for the city. It’s time for the mayor,council, and property owners to be concerned about the reputation of OC as a family resort. Selling more beer and fast food is not a business plan! Enforcing noise ordinances alone would keep lots of these folks under control. Why do they think that they are so special that they can bother others with loud cars, loud voices and gross visuals and not expect pushback from those like us WHO SPEND TEN TIMES what they do on weekend and DON’T BOTHER ANYBODY !! John Galotto. OC and Potomac MD

  46. Thank You Ocean CIty. H2oI was great. I personally noticed, as well as some of your police officers that more cars that we not VW, or Audis were being pulled over. I.E the Toyota that climbed the stairs. We like to park, socialize, and have a good time. Although there will be isolated incidents, I am pretty sure that if we moved the event to another beach city they would be very pleased to share in the profits.

  47. My personal recommendation would be for the promoters of the H2O event to contact the OCPD (like all of the other groups mentioned in everyone’s comments) do, to work WITH the OCPD on traffic control, etc. Since the event was held at the private school near Ocean Pines, they also might want to work with Ocean Pines police and the State Police on traffic control. That would be helpful to the other tens of thousands of people who are in Ocean City at the same time as H2O trying to enjoy themselves also. Other than that, I see nothing different about this event in comparison to Bike Week, the 2 Cruising weekends, Corvette Weekend, etc. Chris, that’s incorrect btw. H2O has been on the last weekend in September and Sunfest has been on the 4th weekend in September – just so happens this year that’s the same weekend.

  48. H20i just has too many stupid kids. Don’t blame the town for the actions of your majority. The group/club as a whole is more liable for all the actions that occur rather than the townspeople. Just don’t come back. Leave your beer bottles, burger wrappers, and dangerous fumes at home.

  49. It’s all good, most of us are responsible adults, if you ban us, it’s fine, we’ll take our $ to another city. Kill your businesses revenue at the end of the season that’s totally fine. If you don’t like living in a tourist town, MOVE. Quit your whining. Your police dept harasses people for rules they don’t even have jurisdiction to enforce. And guess what, the kids pay the stupid $75 tickets for no front lisc plate or whatever. And your city gets revenue and we pay your cops pensions. Most of us are against the drag racing and stupid crap, stop lumping us into one category. many of us have tried to police our own. but please stop whining.

  50. Ive spent the last 45 minnutes reading this whole article and comments. I personaly have gone to H20 the last 2 years and while there are some dumb waky shannanigans going on most of us just want to hang out and have a good time. I strongly feel that everyone who wants to “ban” or make it harder for h20 to continue does not see the big picture. We generate millions in revenue for your city. hotels, food, gas, citations, the works. i spent a good 750$ not to mention the 50$ citation i received for NOT GOING THROUGH A GREEN LIGHT”fast enough” clearly the ocpd are strict on us. To be honest all of the people who are complaining and ” having to leave town” are completly over-reacting. GROW UP. We all flock to OC because its a great location and its a good town with good venues. This is just rdiculous to me. planning is key

  51. I’m sooooooo tired of hearing how bad H20 is by the locals and other tourists. What it boils down to is this….we get it…you’re proud American’s, you love you’re loud, ugly, obnoxious American cars and bikes but when anyone else comes to town its a no-no. Feel free to go on YouTube and compare cruise/bike week…you’ll see nothing but ADULTS acting like kids doing burnouts and endangering peoples lives.

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