OCEAN CITY – Horse and carriage rides will add to downtown Ocean City’s ambiance during the off-season this year.
Randy Davis of R & B Ranch operates horse and carriage rides in the town of Berlin and other locations. Last night, he approached the Ocean City Mayor and City Council requesting to conduct horse and carriage rides in downtown Ocean City.
Davis believes the operation will add entertainment for tourists and locals during the off season.
“I have been doing this for a long time and I think a lot of people enjoy doing it,” Davis said.
Davis proposed that the rides begin at the end of summer once the trams are finished for the season. He will operate fall through spring on the weekends.
The horse and carriage rides will run along the concrete tram lane on the Boardwalk. He plans on parking at the Inlet Parking Lot and move north on Baltimore Avenue, turn east at N. Division Street, and ride south along the Boardwalk back to the Inlet around the pier.
For horse and carriage rides in Ocean City, Davis estimated charging $10 per person and 3 and under and the handicap ride free. He also would conduct tours.
Earlier on in the proposal, Davis put the council’s concerns over horse manure to rest. All of his horse and carriages are equipped with pseudo diapers that catch any waste.
Mayor Rick Meehan pointed out that Davis would have to receive approval from the State Highway Administration to use Baltimore Ave. Also, the trams stop after Sunfest but there are other off-season events slated that Davis would have to work around.
“One other thing you need to realize is this is the year we are rebuilding that section of the Boardwalk … there may be some instances where access to that tram lane may be a little bit different in spots,” the mayor said.
Councilman Brent Ashley felt horse and carriage rides would be the perfect operation to coincide with the recently established horseback riding on the beach during the off-season.
“It would be a good time to give it a try,” Ashley said.
Horseback riding on the beach received its final approval from the Mayor and City Council early this year. It was allowed from 27th Street south to the south Jetty at the Inlet from Nov. 1 to March 30.
Councilwoman Mary Knight suggested Davis speak with the Ocean City Development Corporation Executive Director Glenn Irwin on how he could work with the new plans for downtown for this year’s Christmas season.
With the assistance of the OCDC, “Light Up Downtown OC” is a project for the holiday season to draw more attention to the downtown by adding holiday lights and activities.
“I think this is a great idea,” Knight said. “I think people will absolutely love it.”
The council voted unanimously to move Davis’s proposal to conduct horse and carriage rides downtown during the off-season, once a business license is established.