OCEAN CITY – The Dew Tour has the Mayor and City Council’s blessings as it considers Ocean City as a destination for this summer’s event.
The Dew Tour would be in Ocean City July 21-24, 2011. It is a professional action sports tour, which would encompass BMX, skateboarding and possibly surfing. The world’s best extreme sport athletes compete for prize money, trophies and points on the overall Dew Cup standing. The tour produces over 50 million viewers, and 220,000 participants worldwide.
“We’re now just completed our sixth season,” said the tour’s general manager Chris Prybylo. “We have established ourselves as the most successful sports tour in the history of action sports.”
According to the Tourism Department, Ocean City would receive nearly $6 million in advertising from this event. The economic impact to the town would be significant. Revenue would be increased through hotels, restaurants, retail, job creation, caterers and transportation.
The town’s advertising firm, MGH, said that Ocean City would never be able to buy the advertising that the town would receive from the Dew Tour. For example, live broadcasts of Ocean City on NBC Sports.
“It is by far the largest media coverage in action sports,” Prybylo said.
Ocean City is competing with Virginia Beach for this event.
“We all know that we’re better than Virginia Beach, and we will make this work,” Councilwoman Mary Knight said during Tuesday meeting.
The event is partnered with NBC Sports and MTV. It will also air on USA, Fuel, Universal HD and MTV2.
“We have the perfect partners to be able to garner media attention,” Prybylo said.
The Dew Tour is a family friendly event that Prybylo thinks is perfect for the Ocean City market.
“MTV is a perfect partner because they’re talking to the kids and the families and they reach that type of demographic,” he said.
Prybylo explained that over the course of the entire tour there is 20 hours of live media.
“The media coverage doesn’t stop after we leave Ocean City,” he said.
The event will take place on the beach, north of the pier up to North Division Street. The expected number of participants is 10,000 each day.
“I think that is a low estimate,” Councilman Joe Hall said.
Prybylo responded that it probably is a low estimate and when it was staged in Baltimore over a four-day period there were over 50,000 participants.
According to Tourism Director Deb Turk, the Dew Tour was in Baltimore for a couple of years and it was a very successful event. They left the area because of conflicts with the Orioles and Camden Yards.
“Staging this on the beach is a different animal than what we have done so you guys would be an expert on the estimated attendance,” Prybylo said.
Prybylo said that one of the tour’s goals is create a unique identity for every tour stop. Ocean City would be the only East Coast venue, as well as the only beach the tour would hit.
The “Festival Village” will be set up in a portion of the Inlet Lot. It would be open to the public featuring sponsor displays and sampling. A concert will take place with the artists to be announced.
“It is an overall festival,” Prybylo said. “Music has always been a part of it and it has always resonated with the local folks.”
The world’s top athletes participate in the Dew Tour, including Maryland’s very own Bucky Lasek.
“Bucky was a huge part of our Baltimore event,” Prybylo said. “He garnered a lot of media there, and I know he is a fan of Ocean City.”
Knight watched the Dew Tour the weekend prior to the council meeting and said, “I was just blown away.”
“Forty million media impressions that we get from this that is something that we just can’t buy” Knight said.
Councilwoman Margaret Pillas also watched the Dew Tour and noticed, “There were kids, lots of kids, and families. It just really showed me that this is a family event.”
Pillas asked Prybylo what made Ocean City a choice for the tour’s destination.
“First off simple logistics,” Prybylo responded. “When we were doing the research your venue works. Secondly, a lot of people just continue to talk about Ocean City and how great of a market it is and our decision to stage this event in a unique setting…we want to show the beach setting.”
So far staff has concluded the cost to the town will be around $19,000 as a result from loss of revenue in the Inlet lot during the event. The event includes its own private security so the town will have to provide very little police enforcement minimizing labor costs.
Prybylo said that the decision of whether the event will be held in Ocean City or Virginia Beach will be announced within a couple of weeks.
Council President Jim Hall said, “Hope to God you pick us.”
Knight asked what the town could do to sway the decision toward Ocean City.
“This entire community today could have not been more welcoming to us,” Prybylo said.