City Council Frowns On Dew Tour’s Hot Dog Request

OCEAN CITY – Preparations for the Dew Tour’s third stop in Ocean City are being made as the event rapidly approaches at the end of this month.

Last week, during a Recreation and Parks Commission meeting, Ocean City Private Events Coordinator Lisa Mitchell reported that Dew Tour promoter Guy Finelli requested permission to offer sample hot dogs during the event. The committee recommended the request be referred to the Mayor and City Council for action during Monday evening’s legislative session.

The request is to provide two-ounce, 7-Eleven brand hot dog samples that will be prepared on an electric roller-grill and held at temperature in a warming drawer until served in baking cups to the general public within the Dew Tour’s footprint. Organizers will provide 1,000 samples per day, which equates to 254 full hotdogs.

According to city guidelines, sampling is permitted on a case-by case basis. Guidelines stipulate that the location of the sampling as well as the sizes and quantities must be pre-approved. Sampling must be of a nationally recognized product available for sale at retail establishments. No prepared food samples will be permitted on the beach or along the Boardwalk, according to city code.

Councilwoman Margaret Pillas said she has been in contact with 7-Eleven owners in the area who voiced no concern over the request to provide the samples during the event.

“Their input was the Dew Tour brings a lot of people to town and if they lose a small percentage of their hot dog sales, what they get back in return they are willing to do it,” she said.

However, the merchants on the Boardwalk were concerned over the hot dog samples being offered.

“Every time somebody eats something in the footprint of a private event the less they sell on the Boardwalk,” Pillas said.

Councilman Joe Mitrecic felt that offering two-ounce hot dogs would be just the beginning to larger requests in the future.

“Next year it will be a full sized hot dog, and the year after that it will be hamburgers,” he said as he made a motion to decline the request. “I don’t like to turn down anything the Dew Tour is involved with because it is such a great event for the Town of Ocean City, but I do think it is going to cause issues with the Boardwalk merchants.”

Mayor Rick Meehan pointed out 7-Eleven is a sponsor of the Dew Tour that assists in funding the event as well as lower potential costs for the city in the end.

“This event brings so many people to the downtown area, it really is great draw for the area … just because this year they are going to give away two-ounce hot dogs doesn’t mean next year they are going to give away foot longs and double decker hamburgers but I think that there is some merit allowing them to have sponsorships to help pay for the event,” he said.

The council voted 6-0 to deny the request. Council President Lloyd Martin abstained as an owner of a 7-Eleven franchise in north Ocean City.

A couple of weeks ago Alli Sports, a division of the NBC Sports Group, announced the return of top athletes to Ocean City and the competition schedule.

According to Alli, fans will be inspired by the four-day action sports celebration on June 20-23, whether tuning in through broadcast, online, or at the free events throughout the weekend.

The best in skateboarding and BMX will converge on Ocean City’s beach to compete in Skate and BMX Vert, Skate Bowl, BMX Park, BMX Flatland, Surf and new Skate and BMX “Battle at the Beach” Street Sessions. 

Among the top athletes competing are Baltimore native Bucky Lasek, Pierre-Luc Gagnon, Tom Schaar, and Brazilian bowl dominator Pedro Barros.  Scotty Cranmer, hailing from Jackson, New Jersey, will compete in BMX Park along with Kyle Baldock. In addition, Steve McCann attempts to take the BMX Vert win away from living legend Jamie Bestwick.

“I can’t wait to get back to Ocean City for the Dew Tour,” said Lasek.  “I always look forward to competing in front of friends and family at the beach and Dew Tour has a great atmosphere for competition and family vacation.”

The Worcester County Child Advocacy Center (The CRICKET Center) has volunteered to recruit and organize the volunteers for the Dew Tour.

Registration for the Dew Tour runs June 18-19 with competitions running June 20-23. Hours and responsibilities for volunteers vary. Responsibilities include ushering at the different venues, working at Will Call, information tent, or in VIP or hospitality tents. Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age. Parental consent is required for minors.

If interested, please provide your name, age, and contact information including phone and email to Monica Martin who can be reached by email at [email protected].

The CRICKET Center, which is a non-profit organization in Worcester County, provides services to children, including children who reside in or visit Worcester County, who have been abused or neglected. In addition, services are provided to their families.