The Seasons Change in Ocean City

Posted on September 9, 2009

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The historic Life-Saving Station, renovated last winter, in a view from the inlet at Ocean City.  

The historic Ocean City Life Saving Station, renovated last winter, seen from the inlet.

The long summer tourist season in Ocean City, Maryland, has ended, and we’ve entered the quiet post-season.

September and October are usually mild and beautiful months at the beach. People who have the flexibility to travel in the fall — especially middle-aged empty-nesters and senior citizens — take advantage of the off-season hotel rates.

The past week reminded us that the weather giveth and the weather taketh away. Ocean City finished the traditional tourist season with a bang. The Labor Day weekend was much busier than I had expected. Thanks to perfect end-of-summer sunshine, people flocked to the beach. No-vacancy signs were visible up and down Baltimore Avenue.

On the other hand, rain has dampened this first week after Labor Day. Temperatures are cool, hovering around 70. Tuesday was rainy and gloomy, and steady rain continues today, Wednesday. More wind and rain are likely Thursday. However, the forecast gives hope that the rain will let up on Friday, and sunshine may return for the weekend. Temperatures are expected to return to normal for this time of year, which means highs around 81 degrees, by Saturday and Sunday.

If you visit Ocean City this fall, be sure to stop at the Life Saving Station Museum, located at the south end of the Boardwalk.

If you visit Ocean City this fall, be sure to stop at the Life Saving Station Museum, located at the south end of the Boardwalk.

Although the peak tourist season is over, Ocean City has not rolled up the Boardwalk, by any means. Everything remains open, only less crowded, and Ocean City has events, large and small, scheduled for most weekends in September and early October. The biggest weekend is Sunfest, the last weekend in September. For full information on what’s happening in Ocean City this fall, click on www.ococean.com, the resort’s one-stop site for everything you need to know.

At the end of the busy summer, I feel exhausted. For the past few weeks, I’ve done little more than work, sleep, and laundry. It’s too soon to assess the state of the resort business climate, except to say that the 2009 season was better than many had expected.

Who knows what the future holds?  I have a hunch that the national and worldwide economies will continue to struggle for some time. We may have more economic shocks ahead. The commercial real estate sector and consumer credit-card debt are two clouds on the horizon. Unemployment will probably be 10 percent at the end of 2009, and who can say when it will go down?

I hope to gather my wits soon and take a hard look at the economy and the 2010 Maryland election cycle, which starts right now.  — Bernie Hayden

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