OCEAN CITY — Despite facing stiff competition from other resort towns, Ocean City has been chosen to host the 2011 Dew Tour.
“I can’t tell you how happy we are to welcome the Dew Tour to Ocean City,” said Mayor Rick Meehan at a press conference yesterday morning.
Weeks ago, Ocean City was informed that it was part of a narrow field of possible locations for the tour, along with fellow resort Virginia Beach. While the Mayor and Council told tour representatives at the time that Ocean City was very interested in playing host, it wasn’t until Monday that confirmation was given.
The tour, which is managed by the Alliance of Action Sports (Alli), will kick-off July 21 and run in Ocean City until the 24, at which time it will move on to the August leg of its journey in Portland, Ore. There will be two additional stops over the course of the summer and early autumn, first in Salt Lake City, Utah and wrapping up with the championships in Las Vegas, Nev.
“Ocean City is set to be a spectacular season-opener, introducing new components to the Dew Tour that can only be provided with the type of venue they have available,” said Chris Prybylo, Alli Vice President of Events and Dew Tour General Manager, in a press release. “We truly appreciate the passion and support the Ocean City community has shown for the Dew Tour and are looking forward to bringing the Dew Tour back to Maryland.”
In the same press release, Meehan said, “We’re excited to welcome the Dew Tour to Ocean City, and to be able to differentiate this stop from the rest of the season. Merging action sports with a bustling beach destination exposes both the event and the city as evolving and family-friendly, with a variety of offerings for tourists and locals alike.”
While this will be the seventh year that the tour has existed, it’s the first time it will be hosted on the beach, allowing unique events for the Ocean City stop that other host cities won’t be able to provide.
Surfing will be an event for the first time in the tour’s history. Additionally, the town’s skate park, which Meehan proudly pointed out was the oldest municipal skate park he was aware of in the country, will have a prominent role in the events. Besides surfing and skating, the tour also boots BMX bike events and a live concert that will take place on the beach.
“I can’t wait to kick off the Dew Tour season in my home state, and to have it be the first stop selected for the bowl contests,” said three-time Dew Cup Champion, Bucky Lasek in a press release. “The Dew Tour continues to provide new experiences for their spectators and athletes, and I am really looking forward to putting on a show for the home crowd in both vert and bowl events.”
Meehan called the tour an “anchor event” which would bring in massive revenue and publicity for Ocean City.
According to an article in The Daily Record this week, Baltimore tourism leaders claimed that the event brought in over 52,000 fans to Camden Yards parking lots and generated roughly $10 million in “economic impact,” when they hosted the tour in 2009.
“It’s a great event for Ocean City,” said Greg Shockley, chairman of the Maryland Tourism Development Board and owner of Shenanigan’s on the Boardwalk.
Aileen Sokol, the tour’s Director of Property Options, was on hand at the press conference to congratulate the town on being chosen to play host.
She stated that the tour was “excited to showcase Ocean City” and admitted how impressed she was by the level of commitment the town showed in seeking the tour’s attention.
“It takes a community effort,” said Sokol.
The tour will be televised by a number of large networks, including MTV, USA and NBC, both in the country and internationally. Early estimations have the city receiving at least $6 million worth of advertising due to exposure from the tour, not to mention millions more going to hotels, restaurants and other area businesses.
The projected cost to the town will be around $19,000, mostly due to loss of revenue from the Inlet parking lot over the course of the four-day event.