Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

Although not always in the public arena, many conversations have been taking place in Ocean City in recent years over the changing demographic of the resort visitors. Concerns have been expressed that not as many families are visiting the area and less wholesome vacationers are influencing the area in a negative way.

While those sorts of discussions are important because my belief is they are at least partially rooted in reality, it’s exciting to see when it’s evident Ocean City is still attracting the type of clientele it aspires to in the tourism world. Two examples come to mind from this week.

First, there was the tremendous scene at the women’s softball World Series opening ceremonies at the Inlet on Monday afternoon. More than 1,000 people from 12 states converged on the beach to take part. There were the softball players themselves, of course, but there were also their parents, siblings, coaches and supporters. It was the exact demographic Ocean City should aspire to host and that’s why the commitment to retaining this sports event and desire to attract more like it is so worthwhile.

Secondly, there was an email we received from Lake St. Louis, Mo. resident Ian Turner, who brought his family to Ocean City from July 17-27 to stay with his brother-in-law on 12th Street. Turner reported his grandchildren enjoyed visiting the nearby arcade on the Boardwalk at 9th Street while in town. One day his 10-year-old grandson left his wallet on one of the racecar video machines and did not realize it until the next morning. The wallet contained $110 and several ticket vouchers that he had been holding on to in order to redeem prior to leaving town. Realizing it was a long shot, the group headed back to the arcade to see if someone had possibly turned it in. Much to their surprise, the wallet had been turned in with all the money and ticket vouchers inside untouched.

In his email, Turner wrote, “This only can confirm there are some honest and well-intended Ocean City vacationers who did the right thing. How about that. Thank you to whoever found the wallet and turned it in to the management. Well done and God Bless you.”

For some time, rumors about Royal Farms adding a location near Berlin have been swirling.

There have been several unconfirmed reports about potential sites in recent years being studied with one being the Route 113 and Germantown Road intersection. When those sorts of matters start swirling consistently among real estate folks, it’s difficult to conclude anything except that there must be some thread of truth that the company, at a minimum, has targeted Berlin as a growth area.

It was learned this week that was true, as Royal Farms will apparently anchor a redevelopment project at Friendship Road and Route 50 across from the high school. It will reportedly coexist with an Arby’s on the site.

The Mayor and Council seemed excited about the prospects this week and the town appears to support annexing the property into town limits and approving the request to extend EDU payments over a period of time.

It’s early on in the process, but attorney Joe Moore indicated to the Mayor and Council this week the new convenience store-restaurant operation could be open in 2015 if all goes as hoped.

Anyone using a credit card or debit card should keep close tabs on their account balances because security threats are happening often currently. This week’s story details what’s been happening with Ocean City authorities and nearly every local bank issuing warnings to account holders about the recent spike in fraud and scam reports.

In fact, my credit card was hit for more than $3,500 in a 24-hour span over the weekend. Fortunately, my credit card company was on top of it and disabled the card, as I probably would not have noticed the irregular activity until Monday morning when I ran through my accounts.

After a little research, I was able to determine how and where the card was compromised. I used my card at a concert venue in northern Virginia to buy a pizza and within the next three hours more than $2,000 had been made in transactions at several Alexandria, Va. retail stores.