Out With The Old – Usually A Positive – In The Long Run

It’s always with mixed emotions to see an old, rundown motel torn down with plans to replace it with a modern franchise hotel.
That’s what is currently happening on 32nd Street as the old Ocean Voyager Motel, a two-story facility known as the Yankee Clipper previously, was demolished and the site is currently being cleared to allow for the construction of the 101-room La Quinta Inn & Suites, which will also feature a 2,700-square-foot restaurant and pool bar.
People are sentimental about Ocean City and that’s why there was a reluctance expressed on social media this week when a photo of the venerable motel being razed was posted. Concerns about higher room prices at the new hotel and Ocean City losing its sense of place were expressed.
While these worries are understandable, history shows us that most of the time these sorts of major redevelopment projects result in positive changes for the visitors as a whole, surrounding businesses and the resort at large.
It’s progress and that’s a must in Ocean City. Businesses must be always striving to enhance their product and reinvesting in commercial properties is a necessary requirement. The successful proprietors understand that and it plays out in the winter and spring months each year.
Redeveloping and reinvesting are the keys to success in Ocean City, and there are numerous examples to prove the point throughout the town. Staying in the vicinity of the old Ocean Voyager, there are plenty of redevelopment examples in the lodging industry.
The nearby Hilton on 32nd Street is a prime example of a property owner, the Harrison Group, redeveloping for the better. Further south along Baltimore Avenue, the Flamingo Motel and the Brous family are always enhancing their property and growing its potential. Another Harrison Group property, the Holiday Inn on 16th Street is another example of what can happen when a dilapidated facility is replaced with a larger, more modern operation. The same goes for what Conner family did when it razed the venerable Santa Maria Motel in favor of the Courtyard by Marriott on 15th Street.
It’s perfectly suitable to be hit in the heartstrings when old, storied businesses are being replaced by new non-rooted operations, but the fact is the consumers at larger always benefit from the business owner’s desire to redevelop with improved amenities and living conditions. The price of the enhancements is usually higher fees, but nearby precedents confirm visitors will pay for that within reason.