Baby Boomer Event Eyed For OC In October

OCEAN CITY — In the hopes of exploiting a potentially untapped market and creating an off-season, mid-week special event, town recreation officials this week entertained a proposal for a special event in October aimed at baby boomers.

At the Recreation and Parks Committee meeting on Tuesday, Ocean City Special Events Director Frank Miller pitched a conceptual plan for an event in October aimed at attracting the 50-plus senior crowd. The event is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 12-15, a Monday through Friday event wedged between Cruisin’ and Corvette weekends. Miller said the idea was borne out of discussions on how to tap the baby boomer demographic with 50-plus year-olds on the young end and 70 year-olds on the other end.

“We were tossing around some ideas, and we found the town really doesn’t have an event that caters to the older crowd,” he said. “We’re talking about the baby boomer crowd that would enjoy all Ocean City has to offer in the offseason. Statistically, they’re a pretty affluent bunch that accounts for 80 percent of all luxury travel.”

The event is conceptually called the Boomerang Club. Miller said he envisioned attendees getting a plastic membership card that entitled the holder to special discounts at restaurants and businesses, admission to market specific special events such as dances and other retro-classic activities and discounted hotel and motel packages.

“This group is a very large market, and it’s going to stay a large group for a long time,” he said. “It’s a worthwhile target market to go after.”

Miller said October was chosen as a tentative time of the year for the proposed special event because the town is less crowded, plenty of businesses are still open and the weather is generally favorable for walks on the beach and Boardwalk and other health-related endeavors. In addition, putting the mid-week special event between the Corvette weekend and Cruisin’ could promote longer stays because they generally appeal to the same demographic.

“This market segment can do mid-week trips. Most businesses are still open and we’re always hearing about the need for more mid-week events,” Miller said.

Recreation and Parks Committee members embraced the idea.

“I think this is a great concept,” said Councilman Dennis Dare. “It looks like something that could really grow over time.”

Councilman Wayne Hartman added, “All of the businesses want weekday events. If we can get this to work, it could become a great event.”