OCEAN CITY – The Dew Tour will be here in less than a month and it will be set up under the night sky to prevent any impact on the town’s normal activities.
A few weeks ago, Dew Tour representatives and city officials and staff met to hammer out some of the details and concerns surrounding the major event.
“I think everybody would agree that we have made significant progress over the past three weeks,” Dew Tour Special Event Coordinator Chris Prybylo said during Monday evening’s Mayor and City Council meeting. “We probably have solved 99 percent of the issues that may have come up.”
Pryvylo admitted that resolving some problems have created others but offered the solutions to the Mayor and City Council through requests to amend a few items on the event’s original permit application.
Specifically, Prybylo asked the council for permission to begin the load/unload process of the set up to begin two days earlier, on July 11 instead of July 13.
“Just to make sure we have enough time to do everything in the hours that you would like us to, which is throughout the overnight period,” Prybylo said.
The load/unload area or bone yard area will be located on the beach off of Dorchester Street. In order to reach the beach, the idea to extend Dorchester Street with a plastic roadway was devised.
“A temporary road, essentially a plastic road, that goes in so we can essentially bring a truck in and keep it completely out of the way, pull it into the venue, unload it and pull it out without having to disrupt or effect the normal impact there,” Prybylo said.
His last request was to utilize the parking lot located on the corner of Dorchester Street and Baltimore Avenue for the event’s VIP parking during the venues dates July 21-24. The Dew Tour would cover the $1,750 projected in lost revenue from the parking lot.
“When this event was first proposed, I looked at it as a risk/reward value issue and I voted viewing that the reward potential is much greater than the risk,” Councilman Joe Hall said. “After that meeting three weeks ago, I felt that the risk grew but it was still the reward that was bigger.”
Hall expressed his concerns over the town’s estimated costs, which was originally around $19,000, being raised throughout the process of the Dew Tour and recommended for City Solicitor Guy Ayres to produce a memorandum of understanding to protect the town from an increase in cost and to achieve an understanding of who is responsible for what expenses incurred.
“At that time I thought that [$19,000] was very low and not realistic and by the man power at the planning meeting alone told me that we were incurring costs already,” Hall said.
City Manager Dennis Dare explained that the event will require about 40 tractor trailers to come in to load/unload the equipment for the event but this will be spread out over a period of 10 nights, averaging about four trucks a night. He said it has also been decided that the backup alarms will be cut off and flag men will be used to assist the trucks instead. The work will be done from midnight until 6 a.m.
“We were still trying to develop things three weeks ago but the T’s have been crossed and the I’s are being dotted now,” Dare said.
Dare added that another concern expressed during that meeting three weeks ago that has been taken care of is medical aid. He said that the Dew Tour will have a medical director staffed to aid the athletes as well as spectators within the venue. The town will have the normal amount of police officers on duty in the “neighborhood” during the event and will assist in security if necessary but the only additional costs the town will incur is for the police officers staffed for the event’s concert.
The council voted unanimously to approve Prybylo’s requests. Councilwoman Mary Knight asked him for an update on the response that has been expressed.
“In general, the feedback has been phenomenal about Ocean City as a venue and as a site,” Prybylo said. “The feedback has been great from our athletes, from our sponsors, from everybody. Everybody is really excited about Ocean City and looking forward to it. The turnout involved in those parties is going to be tremendous and I feel like some events get more turn out from athletes and sponsors families and I think this is going to be a huge impact.”
At this week’s meeting, Tourism Director Deb Turk updated the council on the possibility of the Dew Tour branding Ocean City’s water tower with a welcoming message.
Turk said that a few temporary options are being explored such as vinyl or magnets and staff is reaching out to different contractors to explore the cost, which the Dew Tour would also fund.
“Something that is not permanent is the direction that I have given them so it can come down and go back up at a later time,” Turk said.
The Dew Tour features skateboarding, BMX, skateboard bowl, surf and freestyle motocross. The competition is based on a cumulative points system and there is more than $2 million in event and bonus purses awarded at the year’s end based on overall tour standings.