Potential Impact Of N.J. Damage Weighed In OC

OCEAN CITY — While stopping short of attempting to take advantage of the competition’s misfortune, Ocean City business leaders this week discussed the potential impact from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy last fall on the resort’s rival communities to the north.

In late October, Hurricane Sandy rolled through Ocean City and the mid-Atlantic, flooding low-lying areas and eroding beaches. However, the storm’s eye made landfall much farther north and caused devastation for many coastal communities in New Jersey and New York.

During an Ocean City Economic Development Committee (EDC) meeting this week, the potential impact of the lasting devastation in the New Jersey resort communities on the summer season in Ocean City was discussed. Maryland Hotel and Lodging Association President David Reel, who was addressing the EDC on other issues, seemed to think there wouldn’t be a large migration of those who typically frequent the Jersey Shore to Ocean City.

“It’s difficult to predict because there is no hard data and everything is anecdotal,” he said. “The New Jersey market is largely segmented with the south end from Cape May to Atlantic City and from Atlantic City north. Southern New Jersey is not going to generate a lot of traffic for Ocean City because they didn’t get hit that hard. Northern New Jersey really got hammered, but there are not a lot of resorts in that area with a high concentration of hotels and motels.”

Reel said the Jersey Shore resorts should have the funding and the drive to rebound before the season.

Nonetheless, Clarion Resort Hotel owner Dr. Lenny Berger said while Ocean City shouldn’t aggressively go after New Jersey vacationers, he suspected many of the resort towns there would not be fully recovered.

“We have a great opportunity there, but unfortunately it comes at someone else’s disability,” he said. “We would hate to profit from somebody else’s loss, but they are not going to be back by summer.”

Ocean City Tourism Director Donna Abbott said the town is aware of the situation and could direct some of its marketing efforts in that direction.

“I think we’ll try to do a little more there,” she said. “We’re already competing in those markets, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey and Central Pennsylvania. We’re going to revisit the Pittsburgh area because we’ve gotten away from that but there is a real opportunity there.”

8 comments on “Potential Impact Of N.J. Damage Weighed In OC

  1. Leave our brothers/sisters of Northern NJ shores alone. Believe in Karma cuz the same thing could happen to us in the future!

    ~BUSHMAN!~

  2. I agree that there are some greedy business owners in OC. However, hiring a staff of only Americans isn’t always feasible. I employ about 40-45 seasonal employees. I have said for years that not all foreign kids are good workers, and not all American kids are bad workers.
    With that being said let me explain myself. For the most part Americans want to be paid $11-$12 per hour, they want to tell you when they will work, they don’t like working too early in the morning and if they are college age they usually have to leave by the third week in August. If they are not in school they usually won’t take the job since it is seasonal and it will screw up their unemployment. I have had some great American kids work for me over the years. It is just a crapshoot if you can find a good one.
    Now as far as the foreign kids go. I have had some that I wished I would have never hired. But for the most part, they have a better work ethic.
    I ALLWAYS try to have a mix of both Americans and foreign kids, and I work hard to acheive that. But it is a reality that Ocean City relies on having some foreign kids here during the summer months. Agree with me or not, this is only my opinion.

  3. Be very careful OC business community. Be careful not to gloat at the exspense of our northern neighbor’s misfortune. OC never met a dollar it didn’t like; having worked in this town for quite a few years now, i know of what i speak. Greediness comes naturally to many business people in this town. HIRE AMERICANS TO WORK IN YOUR BUSINESSES! Not foreign “students”. Stop alienating your neighbors;those of us who live here. Hire locals to work in your stores and such. There should be a mandate for this, since business people in this town stopped hiring locals a while ago.Eastern Europe is not local !

  4. I vacation in OCMD and Cape May, To think OC would go after and try to take advantage of someone else’s misfortune looks very low class. It’s okay to weigh your options but think before you act !!

  5. 75 percent of jersey shore is devistated i have witnessed the destruction these poor people have lost everything and there insurances are not helping thank god we dodged the bullet but ocean city needs to hire us locals before the foreignors

  6. Unbelievable!! Better yet, why not take some of those marketing dollars and make a donation to those unfortunate townspeople who lost everything; the last thing they’re thinking about is a vacation in OCMD, that’s why you’re heading out to Pittsburgh. Shocking…

  7. There you go Mr. Ocean City business owner. Excuses, excuses. Bashing the work ethic of the American kids who must train the foreign “students”. You are not in business to not make money…So, how is it that you would expect an American kid to show up and work for less ? Ocean City is an insulated place, ungrounded in the reality of how people should be compensated. Foreign kids are cheap labor, and you love them for that. OC never met a dollar it didn’t like. The greed continues.

  8. It does sound like you want to use Sandy’s devastation to OC’s advantage and that is just wrong. There are enough people in OC every tourist season we really don’t need more. And, pay our kids enough and hire them first.

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