Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

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Tourism is as competitive of an industry as it gets, and New Jersey appears to be taking the fight to Maryland, specifically Ocean City. I find this ironic.

Back in the spring, Ocean City was criticized in some circles for looking to prey on the weak by allotting some ad dollars to traditional Jersey Shore markets that were suffering from the destruction of Hurricane Sandy. In reality, it’s the Jersey shore, particularly the southern resorts, aggressively targeting Ocean City’s market.

While in Baltimore recently, I saw as many as a dozen commercials featuring Atlantic City. Additionally, the Atlantic City Alliance, a non-profit corporation “whose primary mission is to develop and implement a full-scale, broad-based, multi-year marketing program for Atlantic City,” has been pounding my in box with news of special deals being offered.

While gaining a consensus on how tourism is in Ocean City can be difficult, there is no secret the week day business has been light during the summer months for some time. The same appears to be happening in other areas, and Atlantic City beat Ocean City to the punch this week with a major campaign launched offering “special mid-week packages.” The deals are available Sunday through Thursday and offer significant discounts, such as 30% off all rooms at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort.

Many Ocean City hotels are offering weekday deals of their own, but there is no collaborative marketing effort underway to get the word out. That’s a shame because the slow week days are becoming a major headache for area businesses. A major team marketing concept, such as what Atlantic City is doing currently, could have an effect. The good news is word has it Ocean City is considering a similar program.

The Dew Tour’s third stop in Ocean City is in the books, and all indications are the event will be back next summer.

Even prior to this year’s event last weekend, Alli Sports officials were talking about 2014 and looking for a date hold for the last weekend in June. Initial concerns were expressed by city officials because of its proximity to the busy Fourth of July holiday and specifically the contractors’ ability to dismantle the village that is set up for the Dew Tour on the beach. Those concerns are reportedly being discussed privately.

From what I hear of the event, and none of this is official, attendance seemed lighter this year than previous years. I think that’s understandable considering all the events that were taking place last weekend across the shore and the fact this is the third year it’s been here.

What’s best about the Dew Tour is the national exposure Ocean City received on Saturday and Sunday on NBC. I taped both broadcasts and Ocean City’s beach and Boardwalk looked amazing. That sort of tremendous exposure is unquantifiable.

Congratulations to Senator Jim Mathias, who last weekend wowed the Delmarva Chicken Festival with his incredible chicken picking abilities. Apparently, the senator has some serious skills, as he was able to pick nearly 14 pounds of chicken meat in five minutes. That was good enough to knock off the reigning national Chickin Pickin’ title holder.

It has been quite a stretch of achievements for Mathias, who back in March alerted police to a suspicious person walking around his Ocean City neighborhood. The suspect was later apprehended and found to be responsible for several vehicle thefts in the area and was wanted in Anne Arundel County for prescription drug fraud.

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