The best way to describe the warm weather season around here to date is strange. There’s been some bad, some good, some sad, some happy and some horrifying. Put it all together and we have an odd season so far.
The good news is after a horrific start to the tourism season in May things started to level off in Ocean City toward mid-June and that trend seems to be continuing through early July. A sense of normalcy and peace are now permeating.
It was a historically tragic few months in Ocean City. There were five deaths between March and late May. A construction worker fell to his death at a hotel construction site. There was a pedestrian killed crossing Coastal Highway at 94th Street. A motorcyclist was killed speeding through town. A visitor died in a hotel balcony fall. A man died after being punched in the jaw during a short street fight in north Ocean City. There were also major injuries sustained in another pedestrian accident in May.
When word came in early June that a Thunderbird jet crashed in Colorado, leading the demonstration team’s scheduled appearance at the OC Air Show up in the air for two weeks, we were beginning to think there was a curse looming over the resort area. It was almost as if the Thunderbirds being able to keep their booking in Ocean City provided a needed morale boost around here.
Fortunately, what has happened in the past took place again this year. In general, the visitor dynamics of the resort began to change in late June from the majority being revelers with unknown intentions to families looking to relax and make different kinds of memories. A different energy was apparent once schools let out. This seems to happen every year, but this transition was welcomed even more so this year than ever before.
This is not to say there are not incidents of a disturbing nature in Ocean City. There are concerning crimes committed every day in Ocean City this time of year, but they have to be reasoned through while understanding the amount of day-trippers and visitors who flush through the resort each day.
With the holiday weekend behind us, Ocean City is now into its groove period. Most of the new employees are now seasoned enough to get the job done better. Most of the businesses are ready for a daily and nightly onslaught of customers and revenue.
It behooves us all to remember and be grateful for this time of year because it was this calmer period we all were hoping would come just a few weeks ago. Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro acknowledged the unease in the resort during that time.
“May certainly brought with it several serious tragedies that none of us will soon forget,” he said. “We shared the assumption with many citizens that we were in for a tough summer considering the number of serious incidents that occurred early on and our officers were prepared for the worst, but hoping for the best for yet another safe summer.”