Branding Concerns Echoed
I would like to address the letter from Eric Waterman, Dec. 2, “Branding Concerns.”
After reading his letter and going through Winterfest of Lights that weekend I have to agree with him. My wife and I saw the Smiley Face and if this is the best they can come up with they need to hire a 10-year-old with an imagination.
Ocean City does have a lot to offer (excluding the crime on the Boardwalk and other places) such as great hotels, eateries, putt-putt courses galore, shops, huge beach, arcades, all kinds of water rides, etc. They put absolutely no thought into this branding of a great resort town. Wasted time and money, not their own.
What Type Of Resort Should Ocean City Be?
I’ve read your articles regarding the promoting of more “family unfriendly” events and I just had to sound off. If you have any contact with those making these decisions, please send my comments along to them.
My family and I have been coming to Ocean City almost since its inception. We are also property owners here and love coming down from May through the end of October to enjoy the beautiful ocean/beaches and all that this “fun family resort” has to offer. However, I am in shock that our town needs money so desperately that we now have to bring in gun shows and rodeos to seek our additional monies. As a taxpayer, I find it unimaginable that our town is unable to thrive without constant loud motor events and other questionable “fun family beach” events.
As one who cares about our environment and animal welfare, I do not agree with our tax dollars supporting such events. I have yet to speak to any OC homeowner who supports these two additional, unnecessary events.
As many of us see it, the high beach season (considered Memorial Day through Labor Day) are supposed to be for those who enjoy the ocean and its beaches. It’s bad enough that all the young families that used to come in September no longer come down because of all the loud motor events and all the chaos that ensues during the Fall.
As I mentioned to our town council members over 10 years ago, this town is at a precipice. We can keep the reputation as a “fun family beach resort” or we can turn it into a “Pottersville” (like in the classic movie, It’s A Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart). Which kind of resort do we really want Ocean City to be?
Many are beginning to wonder why so many other Seaside towns are able to survive without all of these types of events? The beach movies, Northside Park events, Springfest/Sunfest — these are the types of events we should be promoting, not bull riding, gun shows and loud car/bike events that promote drinking and bad behavior.
Supposedly Ocean City can’t afford recycling, but yet it can afford the millions of dollars it takes to clean and police those, often times, dangerous events. Cruisin used to be a nice, relatively small event 20 years ago. Where do you think the H20’ers got the idea it was okay to drag race down our streets while drinking beer at 10 a.m. standing on the side of the highway?
Bike Week has gotten so loud that you can barely hear the ocean while sitting on the beach, just a matter of time before Sturgis comes and we end up managing rival biker gangs who decide to come. These types of events have gotten too big and more unmanageable each year.
I realize the restaurant/hotel/motel association’s primary responsibilities is to bring in as many people to the beach as possible, but not every event is worth its revenue and could very well erode the town’s reputation.
I am hopeful the council members will consider being a bit more reflective when considering who they choose to “welcome” to our beach town with our taxes and how it’s choices will ultimately impact our town’s future.
The Lee Family
Winter Beach Ideas
I’ve been thinking of the concept of “winterfun” as a competitive answer to Schellville.
The most common complaints that I hear in my community about OC winter activities are: walking at Winterfest lights, can’t do it; parking, can’t find it; Winter guest invitation mission/goals, Transportation, parking and comfort.
Specific Holiday bus transportation on decked out school buses.
Run ticketed paid bus service to awesome venues and enjoy holiday decorations on the way.
Bus stops, West Ocean City, Inlet, convention center, northside park.
Encourage boat lighting on the West OC corridor. Give a big prize.
Have bus runs through the Northside Park light displays. Families stay inside warm this makes viewing for handicap accessible guests comfortable.
Family: Team this up with dinner at Harrison’s and perhaps a drone light show outside at the Inlet.
Adults only: Team this up with dinner and drinks at Spain wine bar with a drone show outside at the Route 50 Bridge.
Add a boat lights parade to either on the first week of Dec. Make a big deal of it with a big prize from a marine center/supplier.
Daytime family run: Lunch with Santa at the Dunes then bus up to Schellville.
Create an indoor Christmas village of train garden enthusiasts at the convention center. Sell wine in a craft making village, appeal to crafters.
Pick and pay craft: to make cards, paint glass mugs or decorate a dozen cookies. Add a craft beer brew village, invite four or five vendors and holiday baked goods pretzels, hot sauces, sell wings, adults only.
Have a holiday kid friendly play at the convention center, Scrooge, grinch, anything kid friendly.
Have a holiday music event at the convention center. Sell a souvenir dated mug fill it with cookies and candy canes or sell Fisher’s Popcorn small bags with a holiday flavor peppermint?
And for February Valentines weekend: Ice sculptures and ice skating ice bar at the inlet.
Get engaged in OCMD: Get married in OCMD, DJ sponsored dance at the convention center! Make telescope pics available
Selfie stations everywhere.