OC Council, Chamber Ink Guide Accord

OCEAN CITY — The City Council and the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce inked a two-year contract this week on the distribution of an annual vacation guide.

Tourism Director Donna Abbott and Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Melanie Pursel requested the council sign a letter of agreement with the chamber for the distribution of the Visitors Guide and to approve a new two-year agreement.

Abbott submitted, in 2010 the Department of Tourism and the chamber entered into an agreement to merge their respective vacation guides into a single publication. In the original agreement, the town was responsible for design and layout of the publication while the chamber sold and received ad revenue.

A subsequent agreement was made when that agreement expired that gave the chamber sole responsibility for design, content and distribution of the guide while the town paid a portion of the postage costs and some ad space.

In this week’s proposed agreement, the town would pay a portion of the cost of mailing the publication at a rate of 25 percent of the chamber’s annual cost verses a $1-per-piece rate of the requests coming in through the town’s website, www.ococean.com.

Currently, the town budgets $12,000 to pay for vacation guide mail requests annually, plus the $16,460 for ads. The chamber has requested an additional $8,000 to cover increased costs of postage but the town will continue to purchase four pages of advertising at the same cost.

The council voted unanimously to move forward with the Visitors Guide agreement.