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Dinosaur Extinction Rumors Put to Rest in Ocean City – Meteoric Improvements on the Horizon

 

Many Facebook patrons on Ocean City Today’s Facebook page were aghast at the news that the dinosaurs at Nick’s Jurassic Golf were being displaced to build an office building.  While displacing dinosaurs sounds heartless, the reality is actually very different.  The dinosaurs are migrating a block north, kids and Burley Oak patrons are interacting with and enjoying the dinosaurs until they find their final home, a bus stop gets a shelter, a local family-owned business gets new offices near their work, a residential community loses an irritation, and new workforce housing is being created.

Only the sign remains, but the dinosaurs are only migrating one block north – after delighting kids and adults while on their sojourn

Local Family Businesses Involved

Lots of nostalgic tourists to Ocean City and other beach resorts bemoan the fact that the days of family owned and run businesses are gone and that corporate types with no investment in the town come in and destroy what all of us have loved for years.  This is not the case with the relocation of Nick’s Jurassic Golf.  The Harrison Group owned the property.    The Harrison Group employees hundreds of people in Ocean City and runs hotels and restaurants that are favorites of locals and visitors.  They are a local family with roots in the peach growing industry in Berlin over a century ago.  Their corporate offices inside the Plim Plaza Hotel building were cramped and they needed a new home.

Nick Gerasimos was leasing the property where he constructed the dinosaur themed mini-golf course.  His sister works in social media for many local businesses.  His dad works with a local hotel and property management group which hosts tens of thousands of guests each year.

The Town of Ocean City Needs More Employee Housing

The crisis created by workforce housing issues is one being addressed by the Mayor and Council in Ocean City.  Businesses need help and they need available lodging for that seasonal help.  The old Harrison Group offices inside the Plim Plaza hotel building will be renovated and used for workforce housing.

Harrison Group corporate offices to become workforce housing.

Then there’s the Bus Stop

Prior to the demise of the dinosaurs at 18th Street, anybody wishing to take the popular Ocean City bus had to wait outside next to a sign for the bus to come.  The new office building to house the Harrison management team and employees is building a bus shelter so that anybody waiting for a ride can do so protected from the elements.

Moving one block north, here is the map of Nick’s dinosaurs migration.

Back to the Dinosaurs

In the comments on that original Facebook Post, many people expressed a desire to buy the dinosaurs. While fun, that would have made them virtually extinct to their friends and fans in Ocean City.  Luckily for us, and for the Ocean City visitors who love Nick’s Jurassic Golf, those dinosaurs decided to migrate just a block north to 19th Street.  This property was last a parking lot for Phillips Restaurant.  Nick Gerasimos, being the responsible dinosaur owner that he is,  bought the lot and went before the Ocean City Planning Commission for approval for a new Jurassic park – a mini-golf focused park very similar to the last course.  Nick’s new course looks like it will be better for visitors, residents, and for the dinosaurs – if you believe that such creatures like more space.  Here is the quote from the Ocean City Today article on August 4th and updated on September 22.

Excerpt from Ocean City Today Article on Nick’s Jurassic Golf

The new project will also be safer and more accessible, with a crosswalk and stoplight positioned at Dolphin Street where it will be built. Geracimos contends it will be a better neighbor than the existing course as well.

Right now, as Jurassic Golf was formed from an existing course and not built by Geracimos, the lighting and music elements were already in place and created some friction with the residential neighbors. The lights shine into the street and closer to the homes surrounding the course, and the music has larger speakers that amplify the sound.

In the new project, Geracimos said he will ensure the lights point toward the course, and not the street or residential neighborhood, and that the music is distributed better to prevent sound from carrying. He will also have more parking spaces than the other project and plans to build it on a bigger footprint. He has constructed three other courses, and said he will piggyback off elements of those locations.

Where can You See Your Dinosaur Friends?

19th Street Sightings

If you drive by the new location at 19th Street and Coastal Highway now, the largest of the dinosaurs can be seen  – waiting for their new home and their next meal – if you think about it long enough.

Dinosaurs from Nicks Jurassic Golf
Dinosaurs from Nicks Jurassic Golf wait for their next meal and the park’s opening at 19th Street.

Sunfest Sightings

A few of your dinosaur friends visited Sunfest as part of the Shore Craft Beer Garden with Burley Oak that benefited downtown focused non-profit, the Ocean City Development Corporation.  

Dinosaurs delight kids at Sunfest
Even the dinosaur egg provided entertainment for endless children who visited Sunfest.

You might wonder at the presence of dinosaurs at the Shore Craft Beer Garden.  We wondered too – but were delighted nevertheless.  The answer is that Burley was borrowing the dinosaurs for their “Controlled Chaos” Event.  Which brings me to “Controlled Chaos”

“Controlled Chaos” at Burley Oak

On November 12th, Burley Oak is presenting a big “Controlled Chaos” beer festival for its first year at their property in “Beerlin.”  With craft breweries, food trucks, entertainment, and festival exclusives, there are multiple tickets types available and we hear that the dinosaurs will make an appearance.  

Visit Matt and the rest of the Burley Oak team – and a bunch of dinosaurs – at Controlled Chaos on November 10, 2022.
Ann
Annhttps://www.oceancity.com
Ann has been with StateVentures since 1999. She moved from Annapolis to Berlin, MD to be closer to Ocean City. She splits her work week between the two locations to help clients and visitors get the best information and value out of our sites. She loves a camera and any excuse to use it.  Her kids are both grown and off adventuring.  Ann loves to travel with her kids and lives with her dog Marley when she's not in Virginia fishing.

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