Tennis Interest In Resort Continuing To Increase

OCEAN CITY – The current status of the Ocean City Tennis Center was reported at a Recreation and Parks meeting this week, revealing the tennis center’s increasing success over the past few years.

The Ocean City Tennis Center (OCTC), located on 61st Street in the bay, was open from May 15 through Sept. 11 this year, and according to a staff report by Kate Gaddis, the center saw a successful year in 2007.

“Things are going really well down there,” said Gaddis, reporting that the success continues to grow each year.

The OCTC consists of a tennis shop, office, three clay courts and six premier surface courts, a deck with table and chairs, and inside area for meeting, socializing and sit down instruction. This year the tennis center gained a hitting wall, which according to Gaddis, has been a successful asset.

Rod Dulany runs the OCTC with the help of Tennis Manager Shane Barry. Gaddis reported that the addition of a tennis manager a few years ago has made a huge difference in organization and flow.

Dulany made efforts early in the year to set up USTA Tournaments. Other programs and tournaments include Pee Wee Tennis Camps, OC Tennis Academies, the Ocean City Junior Open Tournament, Junior Clinics, Men’s and Women’s Eastern Shore Open, and many more. Stephen Decatur’s’ tennis teams played their home matches on the court as well.

The youth camps have shown significant growth over the past five years, progressing from 61 kids in 2002 to 250 kids in 2007. Overall, the number of programs and participants has seen an increase in the past five years.

“I think, in general, tennis is more steady than it was,” Gaddis said, explaining that the popularity of the sport has made a comeback over the past few years.

The OCTC received recognition on a national level this year, Gaddis reported. At a USTA party earlier this year, the OCTC was used as a facility success story, with pictures of the courts and the facility displayed in a presentation.

The OCTC has come along way over the past few years, growing from a fledgling center to a USTA-recognized facility.

“It’s really great and you guys are doing a great job down there,” said Council member Lloyd Martin.