Ocean City Today

Skate park pitch includes Dew Tour bowl in new design

Plan makes disused item, in storage since ‘15 event, centerpiece of Ocean Bowl
By Katie Tabeling | Oct 12, 2017
Courtesy of: Brad Hoffman Brad Hoffman presented what he estimated was a $900,000 project for the Ocean Bowl Skate Park, which would include the Dew Tour bowl.

(Oct. 13, 2017) In a room lined with photographs of Ocean City’s skating history, resort officials listened to a passionate plea from two local entrepreneurs to incorporate the Dew Tour Bowl in the skate park improvements.

“This is world-famous. It’s on every skater’s bucket list,” Brad Hoffman, longtime skater and CEO of Live Wire Media told the Recreation and Parks Commission during its Tuesday meeting. “If it’s embedded in the Ocean Bowl’s new design, we definitely would have something that people would come from around the country to enjoy.”

Hoffman and Joe “Salty” Selthoffer of Endless Summer Surf Shop presented a rough design of Ocean Bowl Skate Park, based on ideas from the skating community. The layout draws heavily on the Venice Skate Park in California, and includes the massive bowl that was built in 2011 when the national Dew Tour competition first came to town.

The bowl has been left untouched in a city-owned storage area since the tour elected to go elsewhere in 2015.

If pieced together, the bowl covers 4,000 square feet with pockets and a half-pipe. But for now, it’s sitting in a storage lot on Keyser Point Road until city officials decide how the Third Street park will look.

Hoffman and Selthoffer, who both grew up skating, argued that the Dew Tour bowl is integral to the Ocean Bowl’s identity as the world’s oldest municipal skate park.

“It’s the most visible, popular and skate-able piece of skateboarder lore and we’re not using it,” Selthoffer said. “If we set the park up this way, we’ll be able to bring in millions because promoters want to run events. I got a call … [from] two energy drink sponsors because they heard we were looking at Dew Tour events here.”

Their conceptual plan also includes two other bowls smaller than the Dew Tour bowl, a streetscape area for more modern skaters and a snake run, which is a half-pipe that usually runs into a deeper bowl.

These suggestions, Hoffman said, arose out of his meetings with the skating community.

“The key things I heard were to keep monitoring the skate park and update it,” he said. “People don’t mind paying the registration fee, as long as it’s worth paying for. The Dew Tour bowl was a shining star, and it will elevate us to a place with skate parks across the world.”

Both men also came armed with several suggestions on how to make the upgraded park a money-maker. Based on finances from 2013 to 2016, the Ocean Bowl earns roughly $45,000 a year and costs $75,000 to operate.

Hoffman suggested marketing the Ocean Bowl, outfitted with the Dew Tour bowl, as a possible way for the resort to branch out into sports marketing.

“Nobody can compare with the legend of the Ocean Bowl and with our tourism base,” I could bring in guys like (skating pros) Tony Hawk and Bucky Lasek back here. Between the two of us, our connections are endless.”

Another idea would be build up skate camps as a recreational activity, seeking sponsorships, and combining a skate event with a concert.

“He’s passionate about the bowl, I’m passionate about expanding Ocean City’s events so those children can attend with their grandparents,” Selthoffer said. “But I can tell you that whatever we spend, we’ll make back one hundred-fold.”

Commission Chairman and Councilman Wayne Hartman said he liked the idea of hosting sporting events at the Third Street recreation complex, but funding any design plan would depend on the council.

Hoffman estimated that designing and implementing the project would cost $900,000.

“I want the Dew Tour Bowl fixed in a place forever,” Hoffman said. “I understand what it means to the professionals, the amateurs and the 14-year-old boys that want to be a pro one day.”

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