Ocean City Today

Berlin considering resort’s Dew Tour bowl for town park

By By Josh Davis and Katie Tabeling | Aug 03, 2017
Courtesy of: Hal Adkins

(Aug. 4, 2017) Berlin has its eye on the Dew Tour skate bowl, the large skate structure that dominated the inlet parking lot in June 2014 as the centerpiece of the national extreme sports competition.

Town officials will have to wait before pursuing that objective, however, as Ocean City officials ponder whether the bowl — now rusting in pieces in a storage lot — will be incorporated in the Third Street skate park.

Berlin Mayor Gee Williams said he called Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan about a month ago to inquire about the structure.

He apparently told Meehan, “if you all decide not to use it, we might be interested in taking a look at it,” Williams said. “They’re redesigning the entire [Third] Street park, and they haven’t determined yet if any of the components at all [of the skateboard bowl] … will be used in that design. It’s just too early to know.”

For roughly seven months, Ocean City officials have been working on the parks master plan, but have been stuck on details for the Third Street recreation complex. That location includes the Ocean Bowl Skate Park, basketball and tennis courts, a play structure and open space.

Rough plans for upgrading the skate park included segments of the massive bowl that was built when the national Dew Tour competition that was held in Ocean City for four years. The original bowl covered nearly 4,000 square feet, with pockets and a half-pipe.

Earlier this summer, Recreation and Parks Commission Chairman and City Councilman Wayne Hartman pushed for parks staff to sell the Dew Tour bowl. The commission decided to table the discussion until the parks plans took shape.

“I’m not a fan of it. If we do add anything to the skate park, it should be street scape, like rails and benches,” Hartman said. “I’m not sure it’ll fit in with other amenities there. There’s also the cost.”

Hartman said it would cost about $100,000 for an outside contractor to set up the Dew Tour bowl on a temporary basis. Moving the structure from the West Ocean City lot is estimated to cost $10,000.

If Ocean City decides to leave the Dew Tour bowl out of its redevelopment plans, Williams said he would check it out with people who know skateboarding, safety and insurance. He said the structure was designed for advanced skill levels.

“Only the best skateboarders would be allowed to use it, regardless of where it might end up. It’s not a place to learn how to skate, so it may not be appropriate for Berlin. It’s just way too early to tell,” he said.

Williams confirmed that if Berlin were to acquire any equipment, it would be used for Berlin Falls park to help pave the way for a town skate facility.

“I know a lot of people are anxious for us to do something [regarding a skateboard facility],” he said. “The key thing is, we just want to be very deliberate because you can fix what you do, but we want to minimize the errors in the process of the redevelopment of Berlin Falls park.”

Williams said he did not expect extensive discussions about planning for the park to occur during the peak summer season.

“Patience has never been easy for anyone – particularly the public. I think it’s become a rare art, but it’s still required. I’m more concerned about the result than the timetable. And I’m not a naturally patient person, so it’s not always easy.”

Meanwhile, Ocean City officials have scheduled discussions on the Dew Tour bowl during their annual strategic planning meetings. Those sessions are tentatively set for Sept. 27-29.


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