Ocean City Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday Scene

Posted on May 29, 2010

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A group from the City Shifters club in Queens, NY, stopped at a light Saturday afternoon.

Traffic Report

Yes, we have some motorcycles, here in Ocean City, Maryland, this Memorial Day weekend. How many?  I really couldn’t say.

Saturday was warmer than expected, warm enough that I turned on the AC in the car. Saturday evening is cool and nice. Sunday will likely be even nicer. The Wine Rack Exxon in West OC is selling regular for $2.69. Here’s some good things about motorcycles:

1) You can fill up for less than $30.

2) Many of this weekend’s visitors are riding medium-sized bikes. They aren’t too loud, come in a rainbow of colors, and you can fit five or six of them in one parking space.

3) Motorcycle noise is loud in South OC and West OC, but not as loud as the Cruisin’ OC classic cars last weekend. Or maybe my hearing was permanently damaged last weekend.

4) Those little putt-putt motor scooters that people ride in the bicycle/bus lanes are much more aggravating than motorcycles, and more likely to cause an accident, in my opinion.

Traffic was light to moderate on Coastal Highway in Midtown and North OC, both late Friday night and again Saturday afternoon.

Moving right along, you can see how dramatically Ocean City fills up on Memorial Day weekend in the following before-and-after photos.

Empty parking lot, Tides Motel on Coastal Highway at 71st Street, Wednesday afternoon

Tides Motel, "No Vacancy," Saturday afternoon.

How’s Business?

Just to give you an idea, the Tides Motel, is charging $110 a night for two people over the holiday weekend, and expects to be asking $69 a night Monday through Thursday. Sounds pretty reasonable to me, but this motel is not oceanfront. Their rates will go a bit higher starting June 10. The takeaway: You can enjoy a weekend or a week’s vacation in Ocean City, and save a lot of money, if you’re willing to stay a block from the ocean. And rates in June are generally lower than July and August.

This is a big weekend for Ocean City businesses, but not a blow-out weekend. Many hotels and motels had “No Vacancy” signs, but there were still rooms available late Saturday afternoon.  The Boardwalk was moderately crowded Saturday afternoon. But there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of shoppers in the Boardwalk stores.

How do you generate volume business?  The Paul Revere Smorgasbord in the Plim Plaza at 2nd St. had a long line at 4:20 p.m. “All you can eat for $12.99,” sweetened by a 15-percent-off “Early Bird Special” from 4:30 to 5:00 p.m. only. So the business theme this summer would be: V-A-L-U-E.

Full-moon Bad Driving Award

We had a full moon over Ocean City last night. Police had Philadelphia Avenue shut down from 12th Street to 6th Street at 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning. I know because I was driving home from work. Half the OCPD was out, directing southbound traffic to St. Louis Avenue, and so forth.

A 20-year-old from Fallston, MD, led police on a chase from 42nd Street (including three blocks driving south in the northbound lanes, and running some red lights) until he crashed into parked cars on Philadelphia Avenue at 7th Street, according to the Salisbury Daily Times Web site. As you might imagine, that sort of thing can attract quite an audience late at night in Ocean City. You can see a photo of the guy, and what’s left of his late-model Pontiac GTO, and read the Daily Times story, by clicking right here.

Amazingly, no one was seriously injured. Thankfully, no motorcycles or pedestrians were involved. The driver was treated and released for back pain, according to the Daily Times, and two passengers in the Pontiac were apparently unhurt. All three are under 21.

Teachable moment: This young man has more to worry about than a pain in the back. He’s going to need a team of lawyers, because I think police might be contemplating some charges to file against him.

Also, he’s going to be carrying a Maryland ID card, not a driver’s license, for quite some time, if he’s convicted of those charges. No problem! Ocean City has great 24-hour bus service, with reasonable fares.

Message to celebrating high school graduates: Welcome to Ocean City! We want you to have fun, and be safe. Don’t drink and drive. If you do drink, take the bus. And  don’t mess with the OCPD. One stupid joyride can ruin your future.

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