Ocean City changed from a seasonal to a year-round resort in the 1970’s. It was a decade of unprecedented growth with a new convention hall, a new bridge across the Assawoman Bay, high rise condominiums that reminded many of Miami Beach and the election of a legendary mayor.
Convention Hall was dedicated on April 18, 1970 and opened the way for larger conventions as well as more off-season events in Ocean City. Built at a cost of $3.5 million, it would easily pay for itself over the next several years.
Harry Kelley was elected mayor in 1970 and would serve for over 14 years. His battles with the Army Corps of Engineers to rebuild the beaches by pushing sand from the shoreline with bulldozers gained the town national attention.
The Route 90 Bridge opened in 1971 and would provide a new entry into the resort at 62nd Street. With this bridge, the development of northern Ocean City was guaranteed. Developments such as Montego Bay and Caine Woods would double the town’s population within a decade.
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Photo circa 1971 from Bunk Mann’s collection