One of Ocean City’s top tier nightclubs and resorts, Seacrets, recently concluded a years-long trademark spat with a company operating resorts under the name “Secrets” in the Caribbean.
The decision finally allows Seacrets to franchise – an intention owner Leighton Moore made public earlier this year but rumors have long surrounded the expansion. Other businesses begun in or near Ocean City – the Greene Turtle comes to mind – have had successful franchise expansions in the past few years.
The group that lose the “Secrets” claim can no longer use the name to advertise to potential customers in the U.S. under reported terms of the decision. This limit on advertising has the potential to seriously impact their business so a name change for the other chain might be inevitable, though not specifically ordered in the decision.
Apparently Seacrets Inc. felt, and was later found to be justified in those feelings, that the chain designated its resorts “Secrets” was unfairly banking on the Ocean City restaurant and resort’s reputation. The technical details are better found elsewhere, but with the case finally settled Seacrets can now begin what they predicted so long ago.
There was also a monetary settlement component to the decision, but the reported goal was to free up the name so neither business could bank off the other during the disputed time period, according to reports.
Negotiations between the Ocean City destination and potential franchisees, reportedly stalled until the conclusion of the case, may now proceed. Names bandied about in the press include Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and a number of anonymous interested parties.
A lot of people just love Seacrets – and with good reason because there are a lot of things to love under one roof. Counting the amenities there is futile – even counting the bars is a little trying but, generally speaking, something new and different is as close as the next room. Finding your way to that next room may be a different story.
But what seems clear is the Seacrets will be finding its way outside of the confines of Ocean City, MD. It’s a landmark in an extremely popular resort that offers dining, dancing and drinking options. They also have an Ocean City hotel and their own radio station.
While they usually prefer to stay local, Seacrets may be bursting out of its boundaries soon. Most of the talent and people who call Seacrets home have been there for years and will in all likelihood continue to stay for years to come.
So while they can’t exactly export a feeling (Although they do have some success with the whole Jamaica U.S.A. thing) they can bring the same sort of experience elsewhere. Seacrets may have all but exhausted the potential for the already sizable chunk of actual real estate of Ocean City and in the mindspace of Ocean City visitors, but some things are too big and too popular to be held into just one location.