OCEAN CITY- Resort officials this week approved an early summer beach volleyball tournament series with locations downtown and uptown after some assurances the event would not impact beachgoers in some areas.
On the Mayor and Council consent agenda on Tuesday was a request for a We Build-You Play (WBYP) Beach Volleyball Series with two locations on the beach at Talbot Street and uptown on the beach from 116th Street to 118th Street. The tournament would be held on multiple courts at both locations on several dates from the beginning of May to the beginning of June.
The tournament will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on each of the scheduled days. Councilman Dennis Dare raised concern with the north-end location, which would largely be held on the beach in front of the Carousel Resort Hotel on 118th Street, but would spill over into an area in front of a private condominium building at 116th Street. Dare raised concern beachgoers, especially in the north-end section, could be unfairly impacted by the beach volleyball tournament, which would take up a considerable amount of the public beach.
“This event will be held on seven days throughout the early part of the summer with a large presence downtown and a large presence uptown,” he said. “I don’t have a problem with the downtown site because the beach is so wide there. I do have a problem with the uptown location because the beach is so much narrower.”
Dare asked Special Events Coordinator Lisa Mitchell if the condominiums in the uptown area, particularly the Fountainhead next to the Carousel had been consulted. Mitchell said the event was held last year in the same basic format in the same basic locations without any problems.
“Last year, there were no issues and no negative feedback,” she said. “If memory serves me correctly, it was the same basic layout last year with eight courts on the beach.”
Mitchell pointed out a typo in the special event application which showed tournament dates for July 2nd and 3rd, or right in the middle of the Fourth of July weekend. With Dare’s concerns about the beach tournament taking place on the narrow beaches uptown at the height of the summer season alleviated, the council voted 7-0 to approve the WBYP Beach Volleyball Series.
The tournament is an adult and junior beach volleyball event sanctioned and produced by the WBYP Sports Group. Among the stipulations in the approval is the applicant must meet with the Ocean City Beach Patrol prior to the event set-up to ensure compliance with the OCBP and town regulations including emergency access lanes, vehicular beach access and other safety considerations. In addition, the event cannot interfere with the OCBP’s ability to effectively patrol the beach for safety.