Ocean City Today
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With school start after Labor Day, OC pushes Maryland Wk.

By Katie Tabeling | Aug 24, 2017

(Aug. 25, 2017) Ocean City businesses will offer deals and discounts for the inaugural Maryland Week to entice families to spend their last week of summer vacation here before sending the kids back to school.

Maryland Week, held on Aug. 28 to Sept. 4, was conceived through the Tourism Commission between the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association, the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce and the city’s Convention & Visitors Bureau as a way to capitalize on the state’s late school start.

“At first, we thought of offering deals to Marylanders, but then we expanded the idea to celebrate Maryland and what makes us great,” HMRA Executive Director Susan Jones said. “It’s also a great way to bring in more business to end summer.”

Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order last summer that mandated a post-Labor Day start to public schools across Maryland in 2017. During a press conference on the Boardwalk last August, he said the longer break would benefit families and economies that depend on vacations.

Hogan often pointed to the Maryland Comptroller and the Board of Revenue Estimates 2013 study on a late school start to back up his claims on the economic impact. The study reported an additional $74.3 million in direct economic activity with a $7.7 million boost in new state and local government revenue.

The report also estimated that approximately 8.5 percent of Maryland’s 514,680 families with school-age children would take a new day or overnight trip within the state.

Hogan’s executive order also allowed school boards to seek waivers from school post-Labor Day. Only two counties, Allegany and Garrett, received waivers and will start classes on Aug. 28. Worcester County schools adopted the post-Labor Day schedule in 2014.

Maryland Week hopes to capitalize on the expanded market, with roughly 50 HMRA members offering deals. Hotels are offering deals are offering 10 to 20 percent off for one- or two-night stays, while others offer higher discounts with longer stays.

While some hotels already are offering specials in connection with Hotel Week, other participants include six restaurants and five amusement attractions. Deals include free kids meals or discounts on family outings, aligning with Ocean City’s family resort image.

“Abbey Burger Bistro is offering a free kids meal with two adult entrees, and Ayres Creek Adventures has a back to school special. Bring an item from a back to school list, get $5 a tour,” Jones said. “Others like Ocean City Fish Company have deals on special dishes, like a burger topped with crab dip – a local specialty.”

To see Maryland Week deals and for more information, visit http://ocvisitor.com/deals/Maryland-Week or http://ococean.com/ocean-city-md-deals/Maryland-Week.

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