Taking The Good With The Bad
Regarding the Memorial Day weekend, there was some good news and some bad news.
Starting with the good stuff, more than 270,000 people decided to mark the holiday weekend in the Ocean City area. Certainly, an ideal beach weather forecast was the main motivation. Additionally, there were some bargains to be had at the beach that were not offered in years past that played a contributing role. Along those economic lines, Ocean City may reap the benefits of these tight times because it's within a three-hour drive of Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia and their surrounding suburbs.
The holiday weekend capped off a strong month of weekends for local businesses. The problem is there's a lull in the calendar until schools let out across the region. There are some events planned that will bring people to town, like this weekend's Ravens convention and offshore powerboat racing, for example, but most business owners will tell you June does not bring a lot of sales. That's why it's important for the town to heavily advertise its amenities and value this time of year.
Nonetheless, the season is off to a solid start, and that gives us reason for optimism for the months ahead.
As far as the bad news goes from the holiday weekend, there was plenty of it, as the seasonal crime wave rolled into town.
There's no other word to describe what took place last Saturday night on the Boardwalk. It was a riot with numerous people arrested and injured, including police officers. Along with this brawl, there were various arrests for serious offenses over the weekend, but the major concern has to be the brawl that took place on the Boardwalk early Saturday morning. Dan King, a Boardwalk merchant we spoke with this week, witnessed the incident. He said it was nothing short of dangerous and that these same people responsible for the fight show up every weekend night during the summer months. It's clear they are looking for trouble and go out of their way to find it.
A few years back, after numerous reports of seedy behavior on the Boardwalk late at night, we had an ambitious and gutsy reporter walk the boards and observe what happens after the families leave for the night. What he found was not something you will find in tourism guides. The fact is it can be a dangerous place late at night. There is a concern and people need to know the Boardwalk is not the place to be in the late hours on certain nights. Since the police know all about it, we feel it necessary to let people know about the dangers. That's why we report these incidents without censoring the details.
Ocean City bills itself as offering something for everyone. With this diversity comes some problems, and we have to be prepared to take the good news with the bad because there's plenty of both during the summer season. This week's news articles are proof of that.