Resort About To Transition To Coca-Cola

OCEAN CITY – The Recreation and Parks Department gave an update this week on the progress in creating a relationship with Coca-Cola as well as increasing participants in their sports programs.

Ocean City Recreation and Parks Director Tom Shuster began with saying the relationship between the town and its new beverage franchise holder, Coca-Cola, is off to a good start. He has begun to work directly with the new partners to ensure a smooth transition from Pepsi to Coca-Cola and their five-year contract starting on April 1.

“I would like to thank you for the partnership,” Regional Vice President of Sales and Operation for Coca-Cola Refreshments Fran McGorry said. “I can’t think of two better brands, Coca-Cola and Ocean City. It will really bring the fun, the family and the friends together so where we have done that it has been very successful. We think we will add a lot of value to Ocean City and we will provide detailed plans in ways to bring people, so we think there will be a lot of good things and it is a start of a lot of great moments and a great partnership.”

In other Recreation and Parks Department news, Kate Gaddis reported on the Tennis Center’s 2011 Season End Report. The Tennis Center on 61st Street operated from May 15 through Sept. 30 and consists of three clay courts and six premier surface courts and hitting wall.

Programs offered at the Tennis Center include OC Tennis Academies, Pee Wee Tennis Camps, Quickstart Tennis, Women’s Morning Flights, Women’s Summer Flings, Men’s Morning Flights, Holiday Mixers, Adult Camps, Junior Clinics, Men’s and Women’s Singles Open, the Delmarva Junior Open Tournament L4 and two Futures Tennis Tournaments.

According to the report, the number of programs and participation has increased over the past five years and although there was a decrease in youth camp participation in 2010, the center’s number went back up in 2011. The women’s morning league continues to be a strong program growing in size and revenue each year as well as the adult “flings”. It was a successful season despite a decrease in gross revenue but the department was able to offset it by cutting costs. The center’s bottom line was a net gain of $3,461.

“I think we are getting a lot of people involved in tennis starting as young as we can so we can keep them as long as we can and overall I think it is a real popular atmosphere down there,” Gaddis said.

Next Gaddis reviewed this year’s St. Patrick’s Soccer Tournaments, which are heading into its fourth and final weekend. The last three weekends have been youth tournaments and the adult tournament is this weekend with 47 teams slated to participate at Northside Park. The games run from 7 a.m. to sometimes past midnight.

All together the St. Patrick’s Soccer Tournaments have brought in 172 teams, which average about 12 to 14 players per roster. Out of the all the teams, 97 came from the Western Shore of Maryland, 66 from the Eastern Shore, five from northern Delaware, two from Pennsylvania and two from Virginia.

“With the families that come along with them, there is a lot of people in town for these tournaments,” Gaddis said. “We have people that come for these tournaments that are playing in the adult tournament that have been coming sense they were in the youth division, so this is a tradition for them.”