Ocean City Today

H2Oi visitors treated horribly by resort

Readers' Forum
Oct 05, 2017



printed 10/06/2017



I am a resident of Ocean City. I support this town via my patronage of the many businesses that make this town what it is: a resort town.

I resent the way our H2Oi visitors were treated this past week. Signs put up to intimidate these people. Buses and barriers lined up at the convention center to prevent use of public parking areas (including me when I wanted to park there to visit a nearby venue). An outright announcement that these people were not welcome, and an obvious directive to police to harass them while they were here.

Where did this come from? My guess is from some old fogies with some political clout in this town. These are young adults with a passionate hobby for building unique cars. I am 64 years old and can appreciate their passion. This is not much different than the passion of our biker crowds or the Crusin’ crowds. The obvious difference is their age.

Back to our “resort town.” That’s exactly what Ocean City is. A town that exists only because of the visitors that come to this town. I can tell it was a slow summer season. There were “vacancy” signs throughout the town all summer. Many of the bartenders I talked with agreed it was indeed a slow summer. One bartender told me her tip income was down over $6,000 from the previous summer.

One would think we would welcome additional visitors, especially in the offseason. Are the complaints from some of the locals justified? Is there anything outside of their normal lifestyles they wouldn’t complain about? How many people are we talking about?

It certainly isn’t the hotel owners, business owners or servers that make this town what it is. Is it really that much worse then bike week or Crusin’ week? Or is it simply that this group is a younger group, doing what younger people do everywhere? Young adults just like any other group of young adults that were or are your kids and my kids.

So, quit making unfounded statements. I won’t be convinced this was justified unless you back up these statements with comparative facts (factoring in the directive to write as many traffic tickets as possible). Our town officials need to stand up to these complainers and consider the benefits to the people that rely on the fact that this is indeed a resort town that thrives on events such as bike week, Crusin’ week, Jeep week, and yes, the H2Oi event.

Don’t allow these people to label these young adults based on their attitude that this is their town. It’s not their town. It is a town built and supported by visitors, businesses and employees of these businesses. Maybe we should allow these visitors to vote while they are here, then maybe a few disgruntled locals wouldn’t mean so much to our town officials.

Wally DeBord

Ocean City


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