OC Boardwalk Businesses Report Weak Spring For Sales - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

OC Boardwalk Businesses Report Weak Spring For Sales

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Greg Shockley: Owner, Shenanigans Greg Shockley: Owner, Shenanigans

OCEAN CITY, Md. - A weak spring for businesses on the Ocean City boardwalk. Paradise Island says they're down 30% in sales compared to last season. Free as a Bird tells WMDT they're down 40%. Just down the block, Shenanigans Irish Pub and Grille, also off the mark.

"You hear all kinds of stories up and down the boardwalk, and from midtown and uptown on what the business differential is this year. I think retail is a little bit more off than the food and bars, but I think everybody is suffering at this point," Owner Greg Shockley said.

Four other boardwalk shops WMDT spoke with say they're all suffering. Park Place Hotel still has vacancies for the July 4th weekend, which is unusual during this time of year.

Perhaps to blame - the recent surge of wacky weather.

"The business is down. There are less people on the boardwalk. Suddenly it's raining, and people are gone," store manager Maria Ruiz said.

"For the past four or five years we've had great weather in the spring and into early June. This year the weather has been challenging," Shockley said.  

Paradise Island Manager Maria Ruiz says they've been scrambling to boost sales.

"We try to get the best merchandise we can. We down the price, we give free decals, we try to be so nice to the people," she said.

Shockley tells WMDT he's had to make adjustments and adapt to the changing economy.

"In the past decade you never gave deals in the restaurant in Ocean City. Over the past decade, everybody has started doing more deals," he said.

But things seem to be looking up with a bright weekend forecast and a number of big events including the annual fire fighter's parade and the Dew Tour, giving businesses the boost they really need.

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