Thoughts from the Publisher’s Desk

Thoughts from the Publisher’s Desk

Contrary to media reports this week, it comes as no surprise to those who know Berlin that the beautiful Atlantic Hotel is vacant again. It has long been known current management was struggling to pay its bills and that sales were not up to par. For these reasons and others, it became painfully clear over the last year it was only a matter of time before there would be a change at the venerable hotel. It’s worth pointing out the hotel and Solstice, the restaurant inside, is featured in Chesapeake Life magazine this month. Nonetheless, it’s indeed sad to drive by it every day and see no sign of life. Although I think a change in management was inevitable, Berlin is not the same when the hotel is shut down. It’s the centerpiece of town and when you combine the venerable hotel and restaurant with the quality food, entertainment, special events and atmosphere offered at the neighboring Globe things are better in Berlin. Here’s to hoping the rumors are true and that an established Ocean City restaurant will be spreading its wings and coming to Berlin.

When Ocean City Councilman Joe Hall wrote a letter to the editor last month, there was little doubt it irked some of his colleagues. Some have been outspoken on their thoughts about the letter, which was distributed widely when it was released. It’s the first time we can remember any sitting elected official writing a letter to the editor since former Councilman Vince Gisriel’s days in office. The subject of the letter will be discussed at a Jan. 27 meeting, Hall announced this week. It will be interesting to see how Hall’s colleagues discuss this letter, the content of which can be summed up with this quote. Hall wrote, “I am personally motivated to reducing your city property tax bill this coming year. I do not feel that I have enough of my fellow council members’ support to achieve this ambitious goal. I am enlisting you to help me convince at least three other council members and the mayor to allow a tax cut 2 cents below the constant yield rate. We need this commitment to occur within weeks after the new year so that we can give our city manager the clear goal as to what we expect to receive when he presents the new budget coming this late winter.”

All the final demoflush crowd estimates have been computed for Ocean City, and they prove what most already know. As I have indicated in the past, I have no idea whether these numbers are an accurate reflection of how many people are actually in Ocean City at any given time. However, the demoflush estimates are a viable way to compare crowd sizes because the formula has not been altered over the years. That being said, it appears Ocean City saw its lowest year-round crowd totals since 1993 and recorded its lowest crowd totals from Memoriay Day-Labor Day since 1986. Courtesy of Ocean City Public Relations Director Donna Abbott, here’s a look at how 2008 stacked up over the last decade as well as the traditional summer season.

Annual Crowd Totals

2008: 7,866,091

2007: 8,151,132

2006: 8,239,349

2005: 8,165,703

2004: 8,012,299

2003: 8,004,608

2002: 8,360,627

2001: 8,129,750

2000: 8,405,824

1999: 7,944,872

Memorial Day-Labor Day

2008: 3,962,197

2007: 4,090,901

2006: 4,076,528

2005: 4,043,561

2004: 4,075,582

2003: 3,981,353

2002: 4,195,283

2001: 4,090,097

2000: 4,278,025

1999: 4,165,570

About The Author: Steven Green

Alternative Text

The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.