It was refreshing to hear Ocean City will be seeking more tall ships and attractions like it to visit the area in the future. It’s certainly a worthwhile effort for the town’s special events discussion to undertake in the coming months based off the tremendous popularity of the El Galeon’s recent two-week visit.
Bringing more tall ships to the area should not cost the town additional funds because the preparations were made in advance of the El Galeon last month. Additionally, it should be welcomed by the business community because it does not require free hotel rooms and complimentary dinners, like some other special events in town do. These sorts of attractions are value-added amenities that make visitors’ trips more enjoyable and also enhance the quality of life for local residents.
Additionally, and perhaps most importantly these days, it brings tremendous (and free) public relations exposure to Ocean City. This publication alone was contacted by a wide range of national and regional media outlets for the photos we printed and posted online of the ship’s arrival and departure. CNN even contacted us for video coverage of the tall ship’s arrival.
It’s a clear no-brainer to pursue bringing more tall ships to the Ocean City area.
The Ocean City Police Department was roughed up quite a bit after the July 24 robbery of the Susequehanna Bank off 94th Street for not being able to apprehend the suspect. Critics questioned how a bank robber could evade police in a congested resort like Ocean City with only a couple escape routes with such ease.
Well, it turns out the OCPD was not alone in that inability, as law enforcement agencies in western Maryland, West Virginia, Tennessee and Missouri were also unable to apprehend the suspect after he robbed banks in those areas. In fact, it took a media publicity campaign calling out the “I-55 Bandit” to apprehend the 19-year-old man, who walked into an FBI office in St. Louis on Wednesday and turned himself in.
Big changes loom for the Casino at Ocean Downs as a significant expansion is currently making its way through the county’s planning department. The addition to the current facility received the Planning Commission’s approval yesterday and will be home to table games, among other things.
In the meantime, the casino reportedly enjoyed its best month ever in August, generating just under $6 million, according to a Maryland Gaming release issued this week.
August’s figures represented an increase of around $150,000 over the $5.8 million the facility near Ocean Pines grossed in July. The August 2013 figure represents an increase of $305,739 over August 2012, or around 5.4 percent. The gross gaming revenue per machine per day in August came in at $240.99, which was also the highest total ever at the facility. Those are some big bucks, but it’s likely to get even bigger if table games begin operating sometime next year as expected.
Reports on the other casinos in Maryland included $71 million being grossed at the Maryland Live casino in Anne Arundel County, representing a 64-percent increase over last August, largely due to table games being added to the mix; Cecil County’s Hollywood Casino, which recently added table games, grossed about $7.7 million in August, representing an increase of over $1.1 million over August 2012; and the new casino at Rocky Gap in western Maryland generated just over $4 million in August.