Ocean City preparing for unsanctioned H2Oi event

OCEAN CITY, Md. – Despite Ocean City’s best efforts to drive H20i out of the town, an influx of people are still planning to stop by the beach next weekend.

“H2Oi has been relocated to Atlantic City so we are still expecting an unsanctioned motor vehicle crowd here during that time period. At least for this year anyway,” said Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan.

47 ABC learned of the plans through social media and a post that asks event goers to make their way to O.C. despite the “official” change of venue. As you would expect, their intentions are being met with mixed reviews along the waterfront.

“You look forward to the business especially since this is one of the last times of the year to get a big bang before going into the winter,” said Steve Hufman, owner of 28th St. Pit & Pub. “So if it’s monitored and policed, it is what it is. You know it does have some positives. But do the negatives outweigh the positives?”

“I think its great. I love the event. I was sad to see it leave. It brings a good amount of business to my business and a lot of other local businesses. We have no problems here. We’ve never had any problems in fact (with) the crowd that H2Oi brings,” said Ryan James, the owner of Mother’s Cantina & Taco Bar.

While businesses seem apprehensive, the city does not. Mayor Rick Meehan and others have said publicly that they hope the crowd goes to Atlantic City. But in the event that they don’t, the city has prepared.

“We’re implementing the special events zone for that weekend, as well as the following weekend for the Cruisin’ event. That will allow us to reduce speed limits in Ocean City. That will allow us to increase fines increase enforcement,” said Meehan.

That plan, put in motion by area leaders, is one the community supports, especially given the perceived problems that have been highlighted in the past.

“Once the first person gets pulled over and gets a $250 ticket, instead of a $50 dollar, it’s going to go right on social media. And that’s how its going to spread. That’s how the word is going to get out that there’s increased fines,” said Hufman.

“If you want to break the law you’re not welcome here. So come here, have fun, spend money in the businesses enjoy the beach but abide by the laws,”¬†said James.

For the official information about 2018 H2Oi, click here.

Categories: Local News, Maryland