Ocean City Today

OC Winterfest revenue stays on par with prior year hauls

Recent grants, new event approved by Recreation and Parks Committee
By Greg Ellison | Jan 11, 2018
Source: File Photo Recreation and Parks Director Susan Petito reviewed a pair of recent grants for amenity upgrades during the Recreation and Parks Committee meeting on Tuesday.

(Jan. 12, 2018) The 2017 edition of Winterfest event pulled in approximately $586,000, Special Events Superintendent Frank Miller told the Recreation and Parks Committee Tuesday.

“This keeps us right where we’ve been the last three years,” he said. “Our best year topped $600,000.”

Although attendance dropped off slightly, Miller said retail spending increased.

“The enlarged retail area was responsible for the increase in revenue,” he said. “We were a little less on people but over in retail sales by $5,000.”

Looking at next year, Miller said he hopes to enhance the new 50-foot Christmas tree with programmable animation displays.

“The tree has enhancements we purchased and didn’t use this year,” he said. “Next year we want to have the tree put on a show of its own.”

Other potential Winterfest improvements Miller mentioned include purchasing new displays, rather than refurbishing older ones.

In other recreation-related matters, Miller said the annual Art’s Alive festival would return to Northside Park this year but has been slotted for a different weekend.

“It will be revitalized and takes place Aug. 25-26,” he said. “We’re working with recreation and parks to use [the entirety] of Northside Park.”

The Recreation and Parks Committee also approved an event request for the Algonquest Fat Tire Fest, which Miller said is scheduled for March 25 from 9.m. to noon along the beach and Boardwalk between Dorchester and 27th streets.

Miller said Tres Dank, Eastern Shore International Mountain Bicycling Association president, is organizing the event.

“It fits in well with the active lifestyle image we want to promote,” he said. “I think he’s going to be a good promoter.”

Recreation and Parks Director Susan Petito said Gorman Park at 136th Street bayside has been approved for a Community Parks and Playground grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The funding will permit the addition of an outdoor pickleball court, as well as reconfiguring the existing racquetball courts.

“[City Engineer] Terry [McGean] is in the design stage right now,” she said. “We should be beginning late February or early March and complete [the project] by Memorial Day.”

Ocean City was also just approved for a $20,000 Maryland Project Open Space Grant for a façade improvement project to replace siding at the Ocean Bowl Skate Park on 3rd Street.

“We’re looking at what type of siding to utilize,” she said.

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