OC Council Okays Malt Drinks At Bikefest

OCEAN CITY — The Mayor and City Council received updates this week on two of the resort’s newest events, Bikefest and the Susan G. Komen race for the Cure.

In February, Cliff Sutherland was approved by the council to create “OC Bikefest” in the Inlet Lot. He returned to the council this week seeking approval to apply for a license to sell beer, wine and malt liquor during the event as well as permission to rent a billboard advertising sponsors and vendors.

“We are looking to set up a billboard on Route 50 and make sure what logos and terminology we can put on the billboard and on the signage at the event,” Sutherland said.

Sutherland asked the council if it would approve Jack Daniels malt liquor product to be sold during Bikefest.

“Not everybody likes beer especially the females,” Sutherland said. “So it would be an option for them. We really don’t sell too much of that product but Jack Daniels is a very good steward.”

Councilman Brent Ashley felt if the council approved Sutherland’s request it would appear unfair to a beach volleyball tournament that was not allowed to serve alcohol.

Council President Jim Hall said this case would be different because Bikefest is going to be held on the grounds of Sunfest, which also serves alcohol. Sutherland added the event is fenced off.

Mayor Rick Meehan said the town allows other special events to sell alcohol, such as the OC Air Show Winefest, Sunfest and Springfest.

“Most issues and items that come before the Mayor and City Council we look at them at a case-by-case basis and how they are operated,” he said. “Part of it is in initial discussions is that they would utilize that Inlet area and mirror some of the activities that are done at Sunfest and Springfest.”

Cymek pointed out that alcohol at the volleyball tournament that Ashley referred to was not approved because “there was another event happening simultaneously in close proximity involving many young people”.

Council President Jim Hall was concerned over Ocean City being associated with the Jack Daniels logo in advertising.

“When a billboard goes up on Route 50 and its Ocean City’s having Jack Daniels as a sponsor it doesn’t exactly scream family to me,” he said.

At this point Sutherland reminded the council that Jack Daniels is already a sponsor of the OC Air Show, which the town helps produce.

Sutherland won the majority of the council over once he added non-profit organizations will be serving the alcohol products and will be profiting. The council voted 4-3 to approve Sutherland’s request. The council also agreed to his billboard request.

Sutherland also reported the entertainment schedule includes the performance of Rare Earth on Thursday night, The Guess Who on Friday night and the Blue Oyster Cult on Saturday night.

Another event update that took place during Monday was the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

The original race route was estimated to cost the town approximately $20,000. The race would have formed a looped route which would begin in the Inlet Lot and proceed north on Baltimore Avenue and move to the Boardwalk to continue south back towards the Inlet. Labor costs would come close to $16,500 and Inlet parking revenue would be close to $4,500.

Since then, the police department worked closely with the Development Director for Susan G. Komen Lenore Koors to re-design a race route that would less cost effective for the town. Together they have come up with a new route would now cost the town approximately $8,600, reducing the cost to the town more than half. The 5K race will take place on the Boardwalk and then move south on Baltimore Avenue and then end at the Inlet Lot. The one-mile race/fun run would stay completely on the Boardwalk.

The council voted unanimously to approve the new route of the race, which will take place Sunday, April 22 2012 beginning at 6 a.m. and ending at noon.