Ocean City Ranked A Top 10 Hot Summer Destination Choice

Ocean City Ranked A Top 10 Hot Summer Destination Choice
File photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY — On the cusp of another season, Ocean City got another feather in its cap this month when it was named by TripAdvisor as one of the Top 10 hottest destinations for this summer.

Ocean City placed sixth on TripAdvisor’s top 10 list of hottest summer vacation destinations released this week. The top 10 list from start to finish includes Mackinac Island, Michigan, Bar Harbor, Block Island, Rhode Island, Lake George, N.Y., West Yellowstone, Mont., Ocean City, Martha’s Vineyard, Anchorage, Alaska, Jackson Hole and Nantucket.

The TripAdvisor survey points out many of Ocean City’s well-known and most popular attributes.

“The beach and three-mile Boardwalk is the main attraction at Maryland’s iconic beach destination,” the survey reads. “The seafront is full of salt water taffy, special concerts, beach bonfires and kids’ activities. Once a tiny fishing village, it’s now known as the White Marlin Capital of the World.”

Ocean City officials were quick to celebrate the town’s inclusion on the TripAdvisor top 10 list.

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“With the summer season about to begin, we are honored to be named one of TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Hottest U.S. Destinations for Summer,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. “Our town takes pride in offering visitors a fun summer destination the whole family will enjoy and at a great value. With our miles of beautiful, free beach, famous Boardwalk, great food, endless attractions and free family fun events six nights a week, there is truly something for everyone in Ocean City this summer.”

The TripAdvisor survey breaks down the estimated cost for a typical one-week stay in each of the destinations included on the list. It includes the average per night cost of a hotel stay in the summer, the average cost of round-trip airfare per person to the destination, which really isn’t applicable in Ocean City because most of the roughly eight million visitors each year drive to the resort.

Perhaps the most telling statistic in the survey is the average cost per person for a one-week stay in each destination. For Ocean City, that number came in at $2,269, which is a little eye-popping on the surface, but again, it includes the average cost of round-trip airfare. Nonetheless, when the average cost of a round-trip ticket to Reagan Washington National Airport of $302 is subtracted, Ocean City still comes in at an average cost of $1,967 per person for a one week stay, according to the TripAdvisor survey. Ocean City is ninth on the top 10 list of hottest destinations in terms of cost per person for a week. Nantucket was the highest at $4,872 per person, followed by Jackson Hole at $3,900.

Nonetheless, the $1,967 per person per week estimate for Ocean City bears a little more statistical scrutiny. It’s no secret the perception from some in the public is Ocean City is getting more expensive for vacationers and the statistics seem to bear that out. According to the Trip Advisor survey, the average summer week per person $2,269, including flight, which, when divided by seven days comes out to $324 per person.

The Trip Advisor survey lists the average summer nightly hotel rate for Ocean City at $281. When that number is multiplied by seven nights, it works out to nearly $2,000. If a room is shared by two people, or a typical couple on vacation, it breaks down to about $1,000 per person for a week for lodging. If the number is broken down further for a typical family of four, it works out to roughly $500 per person.

If the average cost per person for a one-week stay in Ocean City, according to the Trip Advisor survey, is $1,967, not including airfare of course, and the lodging rate is $1,000 per person based on two-person occupancy, that leaves $967 in disposable income per person based on a two-person trip. That comes out to $138 per person per day for food, drinks, the Boardwalk, golf, fishing, mini-golf and all of the other paid amenities the town has to offer.

If a room is shared by four people, the available disposable income for the entire week per person comes in at $1,467. When divided by seven days, the comes out to over $200 per person per day to enjoy everything Ocean City has to offer.

On the surface, those numbers appear lofty per person per day at either $138 or over $200, depending on whether two or four people share accommodations. Of course, everybody vacations differently depending on their means and lifestyle. For example, the $138 per person per day could go a long way if the vacationers go to the beach, eat out once in a while, go to the Boardwalk or enjoy the town’s free value-added special events.

For others, the roughly $200 per person per day could be a stretch if they choose to eat out at high-end restaurants each night, maybe charter an offshore fishing boat one of the days, play golf at one of the area’s courses once or twice and hit a happy hour each day. Again, it’s all relative and the per day per person estimate is largely based on lifestyle and vacation choices, but it’s an interesting breakdown nonetheless.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.