Thoughts From the Publisher's Desk
general consensus seems to be that this summer is treating most businesses in
and around Ocean City much better than last season. Numbers obtained from the
Worcester County Treasurer's Office this week confirmed that much for the first
month of the traditional summer season.
June, the latest available figures, room tax collections for Ocean City jumped
6 percent, from $2,074,793 last June to $2,200,803 this June. For comparison's
sake, June of 2008 saw room tax collections of $2,213,868.
tax collections also saw an increase for the month. June of 2009 was the first
month when the half of a percent food tax was implemented, resulting in
$149,233 being collected. In June 2010, room tax totaled $166,288, an
report by Crossroads Consulting Services was presented to the Ocean City Mayor
and Council this week, and it contains a lot of interesting information about
the Roland E. Powell Convention Center as well as the future expansion of the
facility and the associated economic impact. Additionally, another compelling
component included in the report was an analysis of parking at the convention
to the study, the town could see about $393,000 in new parking revenue if it
decided to charge for parking at the center. This is based on a range of
parking fees from $1 to $5, depending on the event, for the current 1,186-space
lot. When factoring in the new 20,000-square-foot ballroom and the 1,200-seat
auditorium, revenues could balloon as high as $566,000 annually.
the council does here is going to prove interesting. The study found some of
Ocean City's competitors on the convention front do charge for parking, while
others do not and some are currently considering it. However, it was
acknowledged if the resort goes forward with charging at the center it's going
to be a major move.
the supply of public assembly facilities and the overall competitiveness of the
industry, an additional charge for parking could potentially negatively impact
the OCCC's overall marketability and attractiveness to some event
promoters/producers and patrons,' the report read.
local residential market reports, produced by the Coastal Association of
Realtors, continue to confirm a modest recovery of sorts in our real estate
market. Here's a look at three areas of interest:
Ocean City Condominiums: Year-to-date inventory continues to decline (active
listings down 9 percent from 2009 to 2010), while settlements are up 13
percent, from 418 through the first seven months of 2009 to 472 through July of
this year. Although the annual figures look better, settlements for July were
down 10 percent and new listings were up 23 percent. That's a trend most
Realtors hope will not persist in the months to come. It was also interesting
to note for July condominiums were staying on the market for an average of 231
days and selling for 92 percent of the listing price (average sale price
reported to be $365,762).
Ocean City Single-Family Homes: It continues to be a sluggish market on this
front with properties barely moving. In July of this year, there were 12
settlements compared to nine last July with an average sales price of $374,917
(an average 91 percent of listing price).
Worcester Single-Family Homes: County homes are moving a better clip than this
time last year, as 284 settlements have been recorded thus far in 2010, a
22-percent increase over 2009 at this point. Listings, year-to-date, are down 7
all is said and done with the White Marlin Open, it's interesting to look back
and see how many fish, specifically the prized blue marlin and white marlin,
were caught in the five-day tourney. This year, according to the tournament's
website, 588 white marlin were caught with 94 percent released. On the blue
marlin front, there were 24 caught and all but two (the first and second place
qualifiers), or 92 percent, released.