OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) —  Sometime this summer, you could get free gas just for taking a trip “down the ocean.”

Kai Jackson explains Ocean City is fighting back against high gas prices with a new tourist incentive.

It’d be nice if you didn’t have to pinch pennies while on vacation.  Ocean City officials plan to help put something in your tank and help you keep more of what’s in your wallet.

Rodney the Lifeguard is front and center again in Ocean City’s campaign to recruit tourists.  If he can’t pull it off, leaders hope free gas will do the trick.  Although the price has been decreasing, Ocean City plans to give away $100,000 worth of gas to bring people to the beach.

“You know, with the gas situation the way it is and we’re looking to increase our tourism base, I thought this was the perfect fit,” said Ocean City Councilman Brent Ashley.

Ocean City officials are also concerned about plans to raise bridge tolls.  The current toll for a two-axle vehicle on the Bay Bridge is $2.50.  It jumps to $5 in October and by July 2013, it will be $8.  Marylanders say the higher costs will strain budgets and possibly change travel plans.

“I’m not happy about anything doubling in price,” said one.

Money for the gas giveaway will come from Ocean City’s advertising budget.  Officials say in recent years, tourism—like the national economy—has been down.  Whether it’s free gas, discounts or other incentives, city leaders say they feel an urgency to do something.

“I think  it shows that we care about our visitors and I think it’s going to be very huge,” Ashley said.

The Maryland Department of Transportation says the toll increases are needed to improve the Bay Bridge and the Baltimore Harbor crossings.

Comments (17)
  1. williejoe says:

    You’ll get plenty of free gas when you eat the s…..t food in O.C. How about picking up my toll tabs?



  3. Mel Gibson says:

    We’ll need more than free gas to pay O’Malley’s taxes and high toll rates! Unless you’re an illegal immigrant of course, in which case you can take a free school bus to the beach.

      1. michele says:

        Indeed! That’s the best sarcasm I’ve seen all day! lol

  4. Ravens1 says:

    Would a good thing to include in the article be how to get this free gas???

  5. sheriff says:

    It would take more than free gas & tolls you get me in Ocean City. That s…..t hole is Miami Beach minus the palm trees.

    1. Billiam says:

      Well, then let’s start a petition to make sure you “don’t get more.” I’ll be the first to sign.

      1. sheriff says:

        Billiam,…..Where have you been of late, In lockup? drying out?…Such a jealous imbecile.

  6. fedupwithitall says:

    I just called O.C. City Hall and they was unable to give any INFO. on this matter and said it is still under review , so where they are getting their info. is unsure as of this time and today is Tues. June 7, 2011 at 9:40am

  7. Don C says:

    Obama says the cost of living is not going up. What country does he live in? I am willing to vote him and his corrupt cronies out next time. This is what you get when a lawyer runs the country.

  8. Linda says:

    Hey Kai Jackson, this isn’t news worthy. It is just someones idea of tricking people to go to Ocean City. Get ALL the facts and then report back to us.

  9. Doug says:

    Come to Ocean City.
    Our beaches make the Jersey shore look like a massive
    raw sewage discharge .
    I love the north end of O.C.
    And although the girls are more plump then years ago,
    the breaking waves are still quite tranquil

  10. Jen says:

    It would b nice if we had a date 2 this post

  11. Mrs. B. says:

    Prices are to high. The price of a place to stay is outrageous ! I just called Mariott and a room for 1 night is almost $300.00 ! How can a family go there and eat & have fun with their kids ? You can take a cruise cheaper than that ! Then they want to give you gas are they crazy ?

  12. John smith says:

    I know right.. Me and my wife and baby wanted to go this weekend and princess Royale was $379 a night and fennwick in was $279 and quality in was $349 with a 3 night minimum.. Free gas is not the answer here O.C. How bout reighning in on the outrageous inflation of your hotels.. One night for 3 people with gas, tolls, food, and hotel stay would be well over $700.00 you can get a 5 bedroom house in outer banks for a week at that price!!!

  13. Yvonne Marie French White says:

    mini vacation in condos is the way to go , esp end of summer.

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