By MADDY VITALE
Exceptional weather, loosening of COVID-19 restrictions with more people vaccinated, fantastic beach days and warm nights with entertainment from the downtown boardwalk for a great summer season in Ocean City, one of the best For years.
“I can tell you from conversations that this has been one of our best summers. I would personally say it seemed to go beyond the pre-COVID summers, in terms of the volume of people in town, ”said Burt Wilkins, chairman of the city’s tourism commission, in an interview after a commission meeting on Thursday. .
“I think overall we’ve had a great summer season and we’re looking forward to a big crash,” added Wilkins.
Families strolled along the promenade. Some visitors played miniature golf, others went to arcades and amusement parks, went shopping and had a bite to eat.
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The restaurants were bustling with life. The streets were busy. The parking lots were full. The cyclists have spun.
After more than a year of fears, worries and worries about the pandemic, vacationers and residents of Ocean City have decided that summer 2021 will be theirs and they will enjoy everything the resort has. to offer.
“There is no doubt that 2020 has been a difficult year for the Ocean City tourism industry with COVID restrictions,” Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce said Thursday. “It was particularly a heavy lift for the boardwalk, arcades, amusement parks and water park.”
But fast forward from 2020 to this year, and business has exploded.
“The economic activity for the 2021 season has been remarkable with rentals, accommodations, beach markers, shops, restaurants, retail and attractions,” said Gillian.
Like Wilkins, Gillian highlighted the strength of the season, especially compared to other years.
“Some companies are reporting a stronger pre-COVID season than 2019,” she added. “The crowds this year were record numbers, especially in July. “
While it was even busier than other record-breaking years, Gillian said guests have a plethora of amenities and activities to enjoy, all of which are reasons vacationers return to Ocean City year after year.
“Our guests really enjoyed all the amenities Ocean City has to offer, but the focus was on outdoor activities including activities in the bay, biking, walking, running, watching. birds, nature walks as well as traditional activities on the beach and the promenade. ” she said.
Families spread out comfortably on the wide beaches, enjoying swimming. And surfers took advantage of the waves kicked up by coastal storms at the end of the month.
Wilkins said commission members spoke about what a fantastic summer it has been in Ocean City for the business community.
Wes Kazmarck, commissioner and chairman of the Boardwalk Merchants Association, told the commission it’s been a great summer for Boardwalk merchants.
Another commissioner, Bill McGinnity, president of the Ocean City Restaurant Association, said it was an “amazing summer” in the food industry, Wilkins said.
And Wilkins and Councilor and Commission Member Pete Madden, both brokers / owners of Goldcoast Sotheby’s real estate office on 34th Street, said sales and rentals were phenomenal this summer.
“It was just a great summer,” said Wilkins.