Ocean City Today

Two companies considered for beach, yacht club mgmt.

By Josh Davis | Feb 15, 2018
Photo by: JOSH DAVIS/OCEAN CITY TODAY Ocean Pines Association General Manager John Bailey addresses food and beverage operations during a public meeting, last Saturday.

(Feb. 16, 2018) Management of the Ocean Pines Association yacht and beach clubs is reportedly down to just two contenders: the Matt Ortt Companies, which run establishments such as Rare & Rye in Ocean City, and a group led by former Ocean Pines Food and Beverage Director Joe Reinhart.

The association’s board of directors met with one of the groups, believed to be the Matt Ortt Companies, in closed session last Saturday. A similar closed session, believed to be with Reinhart, is scheduled for today (Thursday).

General Manager John Bailey said three proposals for food and beverage consultants to run the facilities had been received. One of the three, SoDel Concepts, pulled its proposal, however, because “they did not have the time or the staffing to be able to do it, this time around,” Bailey said.

Bailey said three other options exist for the facilities: continue to run them in-house, completely outsource them, or close at least the yacht club. He said outsourcing was undesirable because of the limited amount of time between now and Memorial Day.

In negotiations with the two consultant groups, Bailey said the board would focus on “general terms: what’s the management fee [and] what are the terms in relation to a subsidy level.” Bailey said an agreement would likely include incentives for beating projections at the yacht club, which is budgeted to lose $100,000 during fiscal 2019.

“The challenge for the association and the board is how do we protect our interest, and yet we also have to recognize they’re in business – they have to have some sort of plan that works on that end too,” Bailey said. “There’s no contract for the board to vote on, so that can’t happen today. That’s what would be envisioned … [during a] regular board meeting Feb. 25.

“If negotiations fall today, then we may have to go back to that other party,” Bailey later added.

Association President Doug Parks said Monday the directors “had gotten what we’d expected or what we’d asked for [during closed-door negotiations Saturday] and that was a little more clarification on exactly what the proposal from one of the vendors encompassed.”

He said the initial proposal included a general overview and some marketing materials.

“[It was] real glitzy, commercial kind of stuff, which piqued our interest and certainly warranted further consideration,” Parks said. “The closed session was to have them bring to us much more detail on a contract with terms that we could consider, from a financial perspective, from a high level to determine if it’s worth going forward with. I think we got what we had asked for and we’re still in the process of hashing it out amongst the board and the general manager.”

Parks said all seven directors attended, including Slobodan Trendic. Trendic indicated during the open meeting Saturday that he would boycott the meeting, but was asked to reconsider.

“I think it was a combination of my asking him and his feeling that the board really felt strongly that he should,” Parks said.  “I appreciated him showing up.”

He said another closed session is scheduled on Thursday “to do the exact same thing with the other vendor.”

“It’s Matt Ortt and it’s Joe Reinhart,” Parks said. “So, we’re basically giving both of them the exact same forum so that we can go through and ask the exact same questions and get a better understanding of exactly what they’re bringing to the table in much finer detail.”

Before going into closed session, Parks pledged bring the remaining vendors before Ocean Pines membership to discuss proposals, before a contract is signed.

“At the very least, I will have something for membership,” Parks said. “Now, whether or not they can do that, it’s up to them … I will certainly ask that, because I did commit to that on Saturday.”

He said the plan is to reach a decision by Feb. 25.

“My hope is that we have enough information to make a qualified decision that we’ve got information out in front of the membership, so they know where we’re going with this, and that we can start moving forward with a plan,” Parks said. “But, it requires discussion, it requires disclosure, and I want to make sure that we follow due process.”


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