Voices from The Readers – November 19, 2021

Voices from The Readers – November 19, 2021

Margaritaville Not Right Fit

Editor:

(The following letter was sent to members of the Ocean City Mayor and Council and appointed officials with a copy forwarded for publication.)

As an owner at the Sea Mist community, located directly across Baltimore Avenue from the proposed Margaritaville development, I am writing to you to express my concerns for this massive project. Yes, it is an upgrade, but the scale and magnitude of this project does not fit in with the size and location of the site they want to build it on. A project similar to the Beach Plaza Hotel and surrounding properties would be a welcome upgrade to the block between 13th and 14th Street on the Boardwalk.

Our community is very concerned with the magnitude of this project and what negative impacts a project of this size will have on the surrounding communities and negative impact on this Boardwalk region of Ocean City. It simply doesn’t fit. I have many concerns: night time light pollution; day time shadow pollution; noise pollution due to the increased size; concerns with lack of adequate parking within its footprint for the guests and workers; no plans for remote parking for the 80 +/- proposed number of workers per shift; large increase in the number of patrons and workers from the previous use; loss of the parking lot that was used for many daytime visitors and guests; street parking being taken from the longtime residents and guests that frequent this part of Ocean City; potential negative stormwater management impacts to an already stressed area; ingress and more importantly egress of the guests and visitors onto Baltimore Avenue after events visiting the proposed use of the project; 265 proposed rooms, at least 80+ more rooms than the largest of the current hotels in the area; height of the building, this project will dwarf the other building within a few blocks of the site.

Worcester Preparatory School Virtual Tour

Ocean City is known for being a family-oriented vacation spot. The boardwalk has always been a big part of that family fun. In recent news, late night partying has become an issue in some areas of the boardwalk. In consideration of the size and intended use of Margaritaville as a large party venue, I worry about how that will affect night time on the boards near Sea Mist and potential pedestrian use of Sea Mist property as a cut through, and other unsavory

uses which we already deal with.

Margaritaville’s size and intent of use, negatively and dramatically changes this part of Ocean City. We understand there are other proposed developments that better fit the use of this site, please pick one of those proposals for the sake of Ocean City and the surrounding areas. If Margaritaville wants to be in Ocean City, they should find a site appropriate for the intended use, not downtown in the historic district of this great vacation town.

Ross Rappaport

Ocean City

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Government Extending Control Over Tourism

Editor:

It has recently been revealed that the Mayor & City Council (M&CC) of the Town of Ocean City are creating a whole new Tourism Department. Over the next six months they will add the following positions: Director of Sales, Public Relations Specialist, Social & Digital Media Specialist, Graphic Designer & Brand Manager, Advertising & Research Specialist and Sports Marketing & Event Manager. These six new positions alone will cost the town nearly $500,000 a year in starting salaries and benefits.

There is further indication that a sales division and a marketing team will be assembled under two of the above positions. Who knows how many new positions will be created?

The job descriptions of the above positions reveal that some of the duties previously performed by our advertising agency will now be done in house. If so, why do we need an advertising agency?

The M&CC have made it clear that they want to help tourism. That is fine, but we are already doing it by our strong public safety departments, namely Police, Fire, EMS and Beach Patrol. We are already doing it with a clean environment and a pristine beach. We are already doing it with water, wastewater, trash collection and sound infrastructure. It is one thing to help and enhance our local tourism industry, but this M&CC wants to operate the tourism industry.

In FY21, they had $7.46 million in advertising funds to spend. Now, they want to control all marketing and to “rebrand” the town. Advertising and marketing are not functions of government. They should be left to the private sector.

If the town sticks to the basics of public safety and a clean environment, and the tourism industry puts out a good, affordable product, Ocean City will thrive.

Vincent dePaul Gisriel, Jr.

Ocean City