Proposed For-Profit Running Event In Resort Tabled

OCEAN CITY – Approval of a new half marathon and 5K proposed to come to Ocean City next year was postponed this week once the city learned it’s a for-profit event that is requesting the town spend thousands of dollars in labor.
Dean Reinke, representative of the USRA Half Marathon Series, requested approval of the Half Marathon and 5K Races, to take place on Sunday, March 9, 2014.
The Half Marathon will take place on the Boardwalk, Baltimore Avenue, Coastal Highway and the beach. The 5K would take place completely on the Boardwalk and concrete pad.
The event is estimated to cost the town about $4,500. The Public Works Department estimated about $3,500 in labor and supplies to support the event, and the Police Department estimated over $900 to provide seven officers for approximately four hours.
The council was disappointed Reinke was not present as he resides in Florida but will be in the area in November.
Councilman Joe Mitrecic made a motion to approve the event. He added it had previously been reviewed by the Recreation and Parks Committee and is believed to create a positive economic impact for the town as the event will bring participants to Ocean City in the winter.
Councilwoman Margaret Pillas pointed out this is a for-profit event that would cost the town over $4,000 in labor costs and suggested adding a condition to the approval the town be reimbursed for costs as it is a for-profit event.
Pillas also reminded the council when the Komen Race for the Cure first to came to Ocean City a few years ago organizers had altered their initial plans and race route to lower costs to the town.
“We host a lot of events whether they are for-profit or non-profit. The idea is to try to stimulate the economy, and the fact that he is going to generate $4,500 from 400 applicants, I don’t think so. You might as well not approve the event,” Councilman Dennis Dare said.
Mayor Rick Meehan respectfully disagreed that this particular event would create a significant economic impact being a one-day event pulling participants from the immediate region.
“The fact it is a not a non-profit event and they don’t really give any indication of how many people are coming from out of town … 400 isn’t a large number,” he said. “We have had for-profit events reimburse us for some of the costs, and in some cases for all of the costs. I don’t think it is unreasonable.”
The mayor suggested tabling the approval of the event until a better understanding is gained of the demographics and the potential economic impact regarding the costs to the city.
“I am happy to see the interest in gaining back some of the costs for these types of special events but we need to treat everyone fairly. I would rather see the gentleman be here,” Dare said.
Mitrecic amended his motion to table further discussion over the approval of the Half Marathon and 5K Races until Reinke could be in attendance. The council voted unanimously to approve the motion.

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