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Businesses report strong weekend to start season

(May 29, 2015) The mild weather brought hundreds of thousands of people to Ocean City restaurants, stores and hotels over the Memorial Day weekend, with many resort businesses having record-setting days and sold-out nights.

“It was a great weekend, with Saturday being the busiest day. There was a line out the door starting at noon,” said Carl Bozick, general manager at Macky’s Bayside Bar & Grill on 54th Street.

Bozick said he has seen the restaurant become increasingly busy with each Memorial Day weekend over the past 10 years.

Farther south in Ocean City, the Shoreham Hotel was sold out on Saturday and Sunday on 4th Street and the Boardwalk, Owner Greg Shockley said.

“Shenanigans Pub had a great weekend. We are off to a good start,” he added.

Quiet Storm stores on the Boardwalk at N. Division Street and 75th Street were up 10 percent from last year, said owner Bill Dreibelbis.

“Saturday was the big day on the Boardwalk with it being cooler and shops did awesome. There was a lot of people walking around,” Dreibelbis said. “Sunday and Monday were still great, it was a nice weekend and we were happy.”

OC Wasabi on 33rd Street had a “record Memorial Day weekend,” according to owner Kenny Diu.

“We had a strong weekend at both locations [14th Street and the Boardwalk & 125th Street]. Very good indicators for a great summer,” said Director of Marketing for Grotto Pizza, Vinnie DiNatale.

Seacrets on 49th Street was packed with people waiting to get in before doors opened at 9 a.m.

It was announced on the radio they had to close as least once on Saturday due to capacity.

 “It was a great weekend, the weather was great and there were quite a few people in town,” said Gary Figgs, vice president of Seacrets.

The city estimates about 250,000 people came for Memorial Day weekend, Jessica Waters, Town of Ocean City Communications Manager, said.

“If this weekend was any indication of what summer will be like then I think we will have an outstanding summer ahead,” she added. “The weather was great, the visitors were happy and businesses were busy. After a long, cold winter, this weekend was just what East Coasters needed to look forward to the warm days ahead.”

Friday was pretty full, but Saturday and Sunday were the sell-out days at hotels this weekend, said Susan Jones of the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association.

There are 109 hotels, motels and a couple condominium lodging properties with around 9,500 rooms in Ocean City and about 100 restaurant members, she said.

“It certainly seems like we’ve started off the season in a positive direction. It was a tad cool on Saturday, which pushed many visitors to the boardwalk, attractions and restaurants. Most businesses, both hotels and restaurants had a fabulous weekend thanks to the plentiful sunshine,” Jones said.

She said advanced reservations are looking good for the season and “they are cautiously optimistic that the summer of 2015 will be a successful one.”

Sunny skies were abundant all weekend and a cool wind drove people to restaurants and stores, but hundreds of visitors and locals made sure to spend some time on the beach.

Water temperatures were in the lower 60s, which kept a majority of beachgoers out of the water with no reported rescues this weekend, Beach Patrol Captain Butch Arbin said.

“A lot of people were laying behind wind breaks to catch the sunny clear skies and it was a beautiful weekend,” he added. “Monday was the best day, but with check outs people aren’t able to spend the whole day at the beach, which made Sunday the most crowded.”

Memorial Day weekend is when Beach Patrol lifeguards take to their stands until September 27. They launched the season with a prayer service on the Boardwalk Saturday morning followed by a pre-season leadership meeting and were on guard by 10 a.m.

“I think it’s going to be a great summer. We move into our new headquarters, still have one more recruiting test and staff wise it’s looking like a good year,” Arbin said.

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