Summer 2012 Flying By In Ocean City (Photos)

Posted on July 10, 2012

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Images of Summer 2012 in Ocean City, Maryland

Photos by John Hayden.

Maybe it just seems like summer is flying by because I’m working full-time in the hospitality business. 

Is this safe?

Is this safe? We’ve seen more and more of these rented motor scooters on the roads in Ocean City the past couple seasons. I’ve been through all the fads, from Davey Crocket to the Smile, the invisible dog, the green lasers. They come and they go.

But I’m afraid these scooters may not be a passing fad. They’re out of place, in my opinion, in the heavy traffic on Coastal Highway and Baltimore Avenue. At least you can see them in daylight. At night they become nearly invisible.

One local weekly ran a banner headline calling the Coastal Highway “Six Lanes of Fear.” That was after some serious accidents involving cars and pedestrians, early in the season. These motor scooters are just another accident waiting to happen.

Motorcycles are designed for highways. But these putt-putts are not motorcycles. Also, most motorcyclists wear helmets.

Old and new in Ocean City

Extreme makeover, the old Royalton Hotel. The work was done in 20011.

The Royalton Hotel today. Amazing! Looks brand new.

Extreme makeover on an even larger scale, in West Ocean City. Here’s work under way in early 2012 on the outlet mall.

It was a lot of work, but they had it finished in time for Memorial Day. Lots of outlet stores. Shopping, especially shopping for bargains, is  part of the vacation experience.

Also some completely new construction in West Ocean City during the past winter. This is the Chick-fil-A going up on Route 50, near Applebee’s. It opened in early June and the chicken sandwiches are selling like hotcakes.

This new building nearby is the new home for a large mattress store and a small restaurant. 

Slots now, maybe table games soon

About six miles farther West is the new Casino Ocean Downs. If you’re coming from Ocean City, it’s a right turn onto Route 589, just past Walmart and right before Berlin. It opened in 2011, so this is the second summer for slots.

I don’t hear many visitors asking about the casino. I don’t know if it’s going to catch on as a major tourist attraction, like the outlet mall, or not. It has about 750 computerized gambling machines programmed to take your money. I’d prefer to see some of the old-fashioned one-arm bandit slot machines. They were mechanical, not computerized, so I at least felt like I had a chance with them. Plus, pulling the handle was exercise, right?

As you’ve probably heard, some people are in a big hurry to add table games and a sixth casino in Maryland, even though two of the first five casinos are still on the drawing board. (The big one, at Arundel Mills Mall, opened a few weeks ago.)  Seems like they ought to give the slots a chance before introducing table games. But of course, it’s all about big money.

And some things never change in Ocean City

Sand art on the beach in front of the Plim Plaza at Second Street. 

Vacationers at the Majestic Hotel enjoying the rocking chairs on the porch overlooking the boardwalk.

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Posted in: Maryland, Travel