Reporting Gigi Barnett
OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland’s number one summer destination might see a slight surge in visitors this holiday weekend.
As Gigi Barnett reports, more people on the boardwalk could lead to a bright summer for businesses in the resort town.
This holiday weekend, it’s the road most traveled and the final destination is Ocean City.
“We’re down, Ocean City, Maryland. It doesn’t get any better than that,” said Rose Molle.
This year, thanks to lower gas prices, an improving economy and a stepped-up marketing campaign, the resort town hopes they’re a hit with visitors—and to draw more to the boardwalk this summer.
Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan says some people will venture down from the New Jersey coast. Some beachfront businesses there reopened this weekend, but damage from Superstorm Sandy lingers. Ocean City says its shores are ready for new visitors looking to take a brief break from the cleanup.
“Their beaches are still there. They reopened some of those beaches today too, and we’re rooting for them, as well. But we do anticipate we’ll see a few more visitors,” Meehan said.
Nearly a quarter of a million people will visit Ocean City this weekend and even with those large numbers, it’s not the biggest crowd. That comes on the Fourth of July, when at least 50,000 more people will hit the boardwalk.
Most Ocean City hotels are reporting an uptick in advance bookings this holiday weekend, which is a reversal of what they saw last summer.