OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) – If you went “downy ocean” this weekend, you had plenty of company.
Ocean City had the busiest Fourth of July in eight years.
Adam May explains what led to the record-breaking crowds.
The mayor of Ocean City credits tradition, marketing and a better economy.
It was a little tough to find a spot on the beach this Fourth of July.
“It was totally packed, nowhere to go,” said Christine Hale.
Ocean City had the busiest Independence Day weekend since 2003.
That’s great for people like Brian Hamilton, who owns a jet ski business. Compared to last year, the number of visitors as of May has jumped almost 70,000.
“It’s looking really good. Hopefully the town keeps filling up,” Hamilton said.
The good news for Maryland drivers is that not all of these new visitors are using the Bay Bridge. More and more are coming through Delaware as Ocean City continues increasing out-of-state marketing in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The mayor says TV ads appear to be paying off, too.
Hotel tax revenues so far this year are also up by more than 10 percent.
“I think we positioned ourself in the marketplace. Looks like this will be a banner year,” said Mayor Rick Meehan.
So what keeps people coming back?
“The beaches are nice,” said Johnnie Nussbaum. “Even when it’s busy.”
“Well, worth it,” Hale said. “Weather was great.”
If these numbers keep up, Ocean City could have one of their top five years since 1992.
A few weeks ago, Ocean City canceled plans for a free gas promotion after concerns about cost.