Officials Report ‘Moderate’ Memorial Day Crowds

Officials Report ‘Moderate’ Memorial Day Crowds
Beachgoers are pictured at the Inlet on a cool, rainy Sunday. Photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY – While reporting that weather impacted visitation to Ocean City throughout Memorial Day weekend, officials say they are eager to see more people in town as the summer season commences.

With cooler temperatures, windy conditions and cloudy skies, officials say Memorial Day weekend featured a “moderate” showing of visitors to the resort. Susan Jones, executive director for the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association, said while numbers have yet to be tabulated, weather appeared to have some impact on weekend activities in town.

“As expected, Memorial Day weekend has historically been dependent on the forecast, so the weather did have an impact on overall weekend,” she said. “There seemed to be a decent flow of visitors around town and a few restaurants seemed fairly busy.”

Jones added that weather is not the only thing impacting visitation to Ocean City. She said a return to cruise and airline travel will impact business the town has received throughout the COVID pandemic.

“However, most of the webinars and surveys I’ve been on recently point to people still wanting outdoor experiences – Ocean City has plenty of those, so, I expect a decent season …,” she said. “As a drive-to destination, we are fortunate to be so close to lots of potential visitors; we’re cautiously optimistic for a successful summer.”

Ocean City Marketing and Communications Director Jessica Waters reported steady crowds throughout the weekend, despite poor weather conditions.

“While we don’t have specific data, it appears that our hotels and restaurant partners experienced a strong showing of visitors,” she said. “The forecast wasn’t really beach weather, but made for great Boardwalk and amusement activities.”

Waters added that the tourism team engaged with Ocean City visitors last week as part of its Catch A Ride promotion, held on National Road Trip Day. Visiting three feeder markets – Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Baltimore – Ocean City representatives set up pop-up events that featured a 1968 Volkswagen bus customized with the Ocean City logo, games and on-site giveaways, including a free trip to Ocean City.

“With such an incredible start to the summer season, Ocean City is set to make June an unforgettable experience for all who visit,” she said. “With PBR and Air Show, there is no doubt the next two weeks with keep the summer fun rolling.”

Despite the moderate showing on Memorial Day weekend, City Manager Terry McGean said the holiday was a success.

“We don’t have any firm numbers on crowds but I would call them moderate, obviously the weather did have an impact,” he said. “We had no significant life safety or public safety events. Overall, a successful start to the summer somewhat dampened by the weather.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.