Thoughts From The Publishers Desk
It looks like the Route 50 Bridge resurfacing project will be completely finished before the Cruisin' event kicks off on Thursday. As a matter of fact, one of the newly paved westbound lanes was opened for traffic earlier this week. This is good news because these 5,000 or so classic car fanatics deserve a year of decent roads. During the previous two years' events, the Cruisers have dealt with the pain of the Coastal Highway repaving projects. A third straight year of road havoc may have kept some of the valuable visitors away in future years, and that would be bad news for the local business community because they have made this May weekend one of the busiest of the year outside the six-week stretch from Fourth of July through the White Marlin Open in August.
Most Realtors in the area agree if a property is priced right, it has a chance of selling in today's market with a little bit of patience. Along those lines, word is the Perdue penthouse atop the Pyramid has finally been sold after being on the market for more than 13 months. I attended a benefit in this unit years ago and it was quite the spot with an amazing view and rooftop access. It featured more than 4,000 square feet of living space, two kitchens, four bedrooms and four baths and was exquisitely decorated. It reportedly sold for $1.8 million after being originally listed for $3.2 million in March of 2007.
Times are tight everywhere, even for the Mint, the federal agency responsible for fabricating the dollars and cents Americans use each day. The AP reported this week it now costs 1.26 cents to create a penny and 7.7 cents to make a nickel. It seems the high cost of metal is driving the increases. A penny consists of 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper, and the nickel is 75-percent copper and the rest the metal by which it gets its name. The report points out each time the government makes a penny or nickel it's contributing to the national debt. While the nickel has been immune from such talk, the rising cost of producing the penny has led some to believe the government should do away with it altogether. I would not miss it, but my gut says the penny will never go away. It seems to me the government's obvious recourse is to downgrade the quality of the metal used until prices return to normal levels.
I came across an interesting survey this week titled AAA's Annual Vacation Costs Survey, which calculated the average travel budget for two adults traveling in the U.S. is $244 per day for lodging and meals. The average cost for lodging came to $164 per night with $80 being used as a standard cost for meals, excluding tips and beverages. In Maryland, AAA found the average price for lodging and meals is approximately $258/day. Here's some of the high-end vacation destinations reported: Honolulu, $673 per day; New York City, $606; Miami, $370; San Diego, $361; and Las Vegas, $358. Where would Ocean City fall? Of course, it would depend on the season and visitor preference, but I think a couple could vacation in Ocean City for the state average of $258 per day. It may not be staying at an oceanfront hotel, eating at a fine-dining restaurant or drinking fruity drinks at a pool bar, but it could be done.
61: That's how many dollars it took to fill up the 17-gallon tank in my truck on Wednesday. That's a stinger. With gas prices showing no signs of leveling off, I hope Ocean City has worked the high price of gasoline into its marketing campaign this year. The message you can drive from the metropolitan area to Ocean City and back on one tank of gas needs to be heard loud and clear. There is no better time than now to spread the word to those who don't realize it.
On page 1C is a special •€˜Things We Like'. It appears each week Amy Doerzbach reads my 'Things I Like' to her preschool class, Pony Watchers of West Ocean City, comprised of 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds. They got in the act this week with their own submissions and deserve a look.