Although it’s unfair criticism by my estimation, the Ocean City Shark Tournament found itself in recent weeks in the crosshairs of the Humane Society of the United States. Director Mark Sampson posted this letter on the tournament’s website in response to what has been said about the tournament. “I’d like to take this opportunity to offer thanks to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Even though you obviously know nothing about sharks or shark conservation, you took it upon yourself to fund a media ‘smear’ campaign about our tournament. Thanks to you, our tournament has recently received international coverage, and while we would like to claim all the credit for prompting the best OC Shark Tournament turnout in 27-years, we have to give credit where credit is due and know that the HSUS is also partially responsible. Thank you and keep-up the good work. … Hey don’t worry, even though you didn’t stop the tournament I’m sure that your ultimate goal of raising funds for your organization will be met. There’s a lot of people around the world who still know nothing about sharks and shark conservation. I’m sure that when you get done filling their heads with your lies and twisted facts – the checks will start rolling in (I assume you take credit cards as well?) and add nicely to the multi-millions of dollars you already have in your coffers.” It would seem Sampson’s tongue was planted firmly in cheek as he pounded away on his keyboard. I like that.
I enjoy reading about Travel and usually read the section devoted to it in (ITALICS)The Sun each Sunday. One of the pages I check out closely is the Ocean City page, which is essentially a hodgepodge of box ads purchased and placed by Ocean City hotels. One company that always has at least one ad on the page is the Harrison Group, owner of numerous hotels and restaurants in the resort. Last week’s ad is clearly the result of thinking a bit outside the box. The ad reads, “Just ½ tank of gas away then in 1 spot your car can stay.” The concept behind the ad is visitors can make the trek to the beach and bank on only using one tank of gas because they can just park their car, enjoy all the resort has to offer and then jump back in it to head home. All that can be done if the visitor makes use of the town’s mass transit system to explore the entire resort or by simply staying at one of the company’s oceanfront hotels, all of which are marketed as being within walking distance to restaurants, shopping and amusement parks. “That other ½ tank will be waiting to take you home,” the ad reads. Although Ocean City has often used the “one tank away” promotion, this takes that message and twists it into an effective ad.
There was a big decision made this week in the real estate world. At Tuesday’s private Brokers Forum and General Membership Meeting at the Clarion, the Coastal Association of Realtors (CAR) voted to extend the multiple listing service contract for one year to the Automated Regional Information Systems (ARIS), an easy-to-use system used by all realtors and consumers to access properties for sale in the area. In recent months, some area realtors had been pushing for CAR to use the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS), which is used in most other places in the state. MRIS had been lobbying hard to serve the lower shore and sources indicate had made some waves in the weeks leading up to this week’s meeting. The contract between CAR and ARIS was set to expire in December and a decision needed to be made by July. At Tuesday’s meeting, the CAR Board of Directors voted to extend ARIS’ contract one year to allow for more information and details to be obtained about MRIS. The meeting was reportedly tense at times with the organization’s general membership making it clear it wanted to stay with ARIS because it’s well established, was created locally and works well for the real estate community. The debate is expected to resume next summer.