A Week In Business – March 3, 2023

A Week In Business – March 3, 2023
The Coastal Association of REALTORS welcomed 18 new members during new member orientation on Feb. 16. Pictured, bottom row from left, are Haille Spicer with Long and Foster, Sarah McGee with Keller Williams, Robyn Kaspersky with Vision Realty and Eden Cavich with Atlantic Shores Sotheby’s; middle row from left, Cortney Dayton with Keller Williams, Zlatica Koscina with Coldwell Banker, Michele Steele with eXp Realty, Rachel Shapiro with Coldwell Banker, Haley Jackson with Compass and Anisa Impastato with Century 21; and top row from left, Wesley Rogers with Long and Foster, Joe Martenson with Keller Williams, Kevin Brittingham with eXp Realty, Erin Failaev with ERA Martin, Jesse Thompson with Compass, Charles Riccio with Redfin, Michael Payan with Atlantic Shores Sotheby’s and Austin Connick with Atlantic Shores Sotheby’s. Submitted Photo

Reopening Announced

OCEAN CITY – Trimper Rides announces its grand reopening on April 8, 2023 at noon. Guests will be welcomed to cross the threshold for the start of the 130th season.

Join Peter Cottontail in the Trimper Rides’ Carousel Building as he hosts the 3rd annual Trimper Rides Easter Weekend April 8-9! Lucky guests will partake in egg hunts, egg rolls, and bunny dance parties. Events will be spread throughout the weekend, but the traditional egg hunt will be held both days.

Guests can take advantage of $25 discounted ride-all-rides wristband. For the early birds, wristband sales will start at 11 a.m. on the Boardwalk, allowing families to skip the pass procession and line up right away for the Easter Egg Hunt.

The egg hunt at 12:30 on April 8-9 sparks the Easter-themed events. The egg roll on April 8 and bunny dance party on April 9 are new to the Easter events scheduled this 130th year. The new events will start at 3 p.m. each day. New rules and regulations have been added to help with traffic and give the best experience for all. Please see Trimper Rides’ website for full details and to sign up to participate.

Scott Savage, president of Trimper Rides of Ocean City, says, “We are thrilled to bring this family-friendly event back to Ocean City and we couldn’t be more excited to kick off our 130th season in the park!”

All park events are weather-dependent, and wristbands can be purchased at the park or online.

Visit Trimper Rides of Ocean City and share lasting memories with family and friends season after season.


Restaurant Sold

OCEAN CITY – Common Ground Hospitality, a well-known restaurant group with multiple locations in Maryland and Delaware, has announced the sale of their Just Hooked property in Fenwick Island to Fins Hospitality Group.

Just Hooked will officially close its doors on Sunday Feb. 26, 2023. The Just Hooked restaurant, located at 1500 Coastal Hwy in Fenwick, has been a popular dining destination in the area for 11 years.

“The opportunity to sell could not have come at a better time,” said Steve Hagen, owner of Common Ground Hospitality. “It’s always important to diversify and grow our brand. We have new concepts in the works that we have been looking forward to bringing to Delmarva for a long time, this deal gives us the leverage to refocus our efforts.”

Fins Hospitality Group is equally excited about adding a new property to their growing portfolio of restaurants on the Eastern Shore.

“We are thrilled to be expanding our presence in the area,” said Jeff Hamer, owner of Fins Hospitality Group. “We are excited to continue the great work that Steve and his team have done at this location and look forward to offering our own unique take on dining to the community.”

Hagen added, “We are proud of the success we had at Just Hooked, and the reputation that the restaurant built for our group in the community. We are excited to pass the torch to another locally owned hospitality group and are confident that Fins will continue to deliver a great dining experience to the Fenwick community.”

Common Ground Hospitality’s customers can continue to enjoy their award winning farm to table fresh menus at Tailchasers Restaurant & Dock Bar or Hooked in Ocean City and in Delaware at Off the Hook, Bethany Beach or Hooked Up Ale House & Raw Bar in Millville.


Instructor Welcomed

OCEAN PINES – Ten years ago, a junior golfer named Matt Ruggiere could be found at the Ocean Pines Golf Club most mornings, his car headlights pointed at the driving range as he practiced chipping just before class.

This March, Ruggiere will return home to lead a new Golf Academy at Ocean Pines, offering lessons to players of all ages and skill levels.

Ruggiere grew up in the South Gate area of Ocean Pines and played golf for Stephen Decatur High School. He also toured the mid-Atlantic region on junior golf teams.

He said the Ocean Pines Golf Club is still a favorite, because of the Robert Trent Jones design.

“Ocean Pines was always my home course. The design is just spectacular,” Ruggiere said. “I do think it’s one of the most challenging in the area, so being a competitive junior and having a place to play and practice, I felt like I always had an edge over kids that came from other courses. That helped me a lot when I started competing.”

Right after high school, Ruggiere moved to Colorado to teach snowboarding. He moved back to Ocean Pines the next summer to refocus on golf, and then went to Florida for five years to tour the southeastern United States and West Coast as a competitive golfer. He played in several U.S. Open qualifying rounds and built up his professional resume working at courses like the LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., and the Indian Peaks Golf Course in Boulder, Colo.

After suffering from a nagging wrist injury several years ago, Ruggiere decided it was time to transition from playing to teaching.

“Through playing, the competition, and some of the networks and friends I made, I really found my passion in teaching and coaching,” he said. “I got the ball rolling with that and kept pursuing it.”
Ruggiere created the www.ruggieregolf.com website that helped brand his teaching program. A few months ago, he messaged Ocean Pines Golf Director Bob Beckelman about bringing that program to the community where he grew up.

“For me, it was perfect timing,” he said. “I already had the backbone of the website ready to go, and I couldn’t wait to get started in Ocean Pines.”

Ruggiere’s name was brought up during recent budget meetings, and the Association started heavily advertising the new golf academy this month.

“It’s just really exciting to be able to go back and be the face of the instruction program, because I have great memories of growing up and playing in Ocean Pines,” Ruggiere continued. “Hopefully, I get some juniors who have the same passion that I did, and I can help them grow and pursue their goals.”

The academy officially starts on March 7, but players can start booking private and group lessons now. That includes an eight-week spring and summer program for juniors and women, and a spring break clinic for junior golfers on April 6-7.

Ocean Pines General Manager John Viola said he’s excited to welcome Ruggiere back.

“This young man is a homegrown talent, and I remember seeing him play as a junior golfer and being very impressed,” Viola said. “It’s just a great story, and we think Matt is going to be a fantastic addition to our team and to our Golf program.”