Tour gone, so it’s on with local events

01/30/2015

With the Dew Tour heading for parts unknown this summer as it revamps how and where it stages its summer competitions, the inevitable questions are how much economic impact the resort will feel and what’s to be done about it?

The direct financial ramifications of the tour’s departure probably won’t be that serious, as the resort’s visitor population has remained relatively stable that time of year regardless of what might have been taking place. Boardwalk retailers are likely to feel the pinch that week, but the lodging industry isn’t going slip by any great amount.

The real hit will be indirect, as Ocean City loses that free television exposure and whatever increase in market share it might have generated for the resort.

As for how city officials should respond to the tour’s exit, there isn’t much that can be done except to continue to focus on locally-produced events and attractions that also draw crowds to the beach.

That said, the council’s consideration of TEAM Production’s request for a longer-term contract for its summer fireworks-laser shows on the beach might be more cautious that it should be.

The council agreed to a two-year contract with an opt-out clause after the first year, which by any other name is still a one-year deal. That’s because, in the council’s words, it wants to be sure that TEAM’s program continues to be fresh and exciting.

That, however, begs the question why any vendor would want to reinvest part of one year’s proceeds to make a program new and exciting in the next year if there’s no guarantee that it will exist?

It’s a simple situation. Either this program works for Ocean City or it doesn’t and either the council wants to keep it or not.

Understandably, the council doesn’t want anyone to ride along on its money without continuing to earn it. Still, there must be some level of trust involved or staging the show won’t be worth it to the production company in the long run.

As for the Dew Tour, all that anyone can says is thanks, it was a great ride.

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