Ice Machines To Be Used For Upcoming Springfest

OCEAN CITY – The way the town provides ice for Springfest vendors will likely be a little different this year.

During Tuesday’s Tourism Commission meeting, Special Events Director Frank Miller provided a brief overview of the status of some the upcoming special events in the resort. Miller said his department is finalizing the fireworks contract, working to finalize contracts with the tent provider for special events, reviewing the value-added special events and, finally, preparing for a modified Springfest set for May 4-8 at the Inlet lot.

Miller said there were some subtle changes with Springfest this year, including how the town will provide ice to the various vendors for the food and beverage products. Traditionally, the town provides large bags of ice to the vendors, but Miller said there have been discussions about a private provider bringing in ice machines to the event.

“There is one thing we’re doing a little different this year,” he said. “Usually, we provide bagged ice for sale for our vendors. This year, we’re going to provide a water and ice vending machine. The machine will keep our cost down. It produces 1,900 pounds of ice per day. It does have a green element because it eliminates the plastic bags.”

Miller said using the large ice machines at Springfest could be a pilot program of sorts and said there could be applications in other areas around the resort.

“This type of machine could be used elsewhere in town,” he said. “There is an opportunity here. We could place them at different locations on the Boardwalk. It would provide ice for special events such as the air show or the sand soccer tournament, for example.”

Tourism and Business Development Director Tom Perlozzo agreed there could be more opportunities to place ice machines around the resort.

“We could set up two machines at the Inlet lot,” he said. “The provider would operate and maintain them, but the town would get $2 per bag.”

Miller said the plan is already in place to utilize the machines at Springfest next month.

“We’re moving forward with it for Springfest,” he said. “There is a much broader opportunity. It’s not only open to us. It’s open to local businesses.”

City Manager Terry McGean said he would like to see more details from the provider before a discussion about placing more of them around town.

“I think they need to come with a proposal,” he said. “We need to know what they want to do and what to town needs to do. We also need to find out how many locations are being proposed and where.”

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.