OCEAN CITY — O.C. Jeep Week, slated for later this month, will include an obstacle course on the beach as an added attraction for the participants after resort officials approved the add-on event after some questions about the approval protocols.
During the Monday, Aug. 6 meeting, Special Events Coordinator Lisa Mitchell presented the Mayor and Council with an updated proposal for O.C. Jeep Week scheduled for Aug. 20-23 including an obstacle course for participants on the beach just north of the pier to Dorchester Street. One of the highlights of O.C. Jeep Week has always been the parade of jeeps down the beach from 29th Street to the Inlet.
The add-on proposed on Monday, just weeks away from the event, includes an obstacle course on the beach allowing participants to drive jeeps of over the beach obstacle course complete with temporary sand hills and other features. Mitchell said the obstacle course had been reviewed and approved by the various department heads potentially impacted by the late addition and only a sign-off from the Mayor and Council was needed to make the requested changes in the event.
Mitchell said the event’s producer, Livewire Media, will be responsible for creating the obstacle course, removing it and restoring the beach to its original condition along with monitoring the participants and ensuring safety of non-participants with no additional impact on town resources.
According to the requested approval, the obstacle course would be open twice daily during the four-day event with a 9:30 a.m. to noon session, and a second session from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. In between, the event’s producer will maintain the course and make it ready for the second wave of participants each day.
The Mayor and Council have historically supported O.C. Jeep Week and that has not changed, but there were some questions raised on Monday about the late approval request for the obstacle course add-on.
“This is set for Aug. 23 and here it is Aug. 6 and we’re just getting this now?” said Councilman Dennis Dare. ‘Why are we getting this so late?”
Mitchell told the Mayor and Council the obstacle course was just conceptual when O.C. Jeep Week’s approval was renewed and in the months since, the promoter has been working with the various department heads to iron out the details for the add-on.
“This was brought up earlier, but the promoter has been fine-tuning it to make it best for the town and that took a little longer than expected,” she said.
However, Dare was not immediately convinced the addition of the obstacle course as part of jeep week could not have been presented earlier.
“The event itself has been approved, so what we’re doing tonight is approving the add-on,” he said. “My point is, to bring this in two weeks before the event, what if there was an issue that could not be resolved?”
Councilman Wayne Hartman also questioned to late timing for the request for the obstacle course.
“Is that taking a lot for granted with this just coming to use weeks before the event?” he said. “This is a great event for Ocean City and we support it, but this is coming to us at the 11th hour.”
Dare also questioned how getting the participating jeeps in and out of the Inlet lot would work with the new license plate reader parking system. Mitchell explained the participants could be given codes to enter to allow them to access the Inlet lot with strict parameters for the obstacle course timing.
“Do you think having codes could be more trouble than not having codes?” said Hartman. “They’re going to have 150 people coming in at one time and putting codes in at one time.”
However, after gaining assurances the Inlet access issues and other late issues would be resolved, the council voted unanimously to approve the O.C. Jeep Week obstacle course add-on.