Busy weekend for OCPD and local businesses following H2Oi
OCEAN CITY, Md. – All is quiet and calm again in Ocean City following a very busy and loud weekend. Thousands made their way to the resort town to show off their supped up cars and what cops are calling ‘reckless’ behavior.
“Despite the event moving to another location we still had quite a few into the thousands of car enthusiasts here in town this weekend and we did continue to see the disruptive and disorderly behavior primarily Friday and Saturday night,” says OCPD Spokesperson Lindsay Richard.
The unsanctioned H2Oi car event proved to be a challenge for police. Over the span of four days, they handed out over 1,200 traffic citations, that’s nearly 400 more than last year’s event.
The good news – safety wise – despite the burn outs, doughnuts and reckless driving, no one was seriously injured and there were no serious crimes.
“Most of what we saw was just disorderly behavior. A lot of the calls for service we got from our citizens were people asking us to clear them out of parking lots. They just like to congregate in parking lots and look at each other’s cars,” explains Richard.
And despite the traffic and rowdy crowd the weekend did prove to be a boom for local businesses especially after a tough summer season.
“It gets rowdy um traffic I understand why people don’t like it its but you know from a business standpoint cant ask for more,” explains Kit Gabby, owner of 58th Street Wine and Beer.
Buxy’s Salty Dog owner Douglas Buxuam, says, “We’re very dependent on those folks coming into town and the town does a good job of bringing events into town, unfortunately this wasn’t a sanctioned event but there were still a lot of folks in town.”
Now that the town and businesses know a change of venue isn’t changing the crowd, they know what to expect for next year.
“I think now that we’ve had this first year of there being no event at all in town, knowing what that still brought to town I think that will help us in planning for next year as well,’ adds Richard.
Now H2Oi may be over, but Ocean City won’t be quiet for long as thousands are expected to make their way to the resort town this week for Cruisin’ OC. The town is again rolling out the special events zone starting Tuesday and police will be back in full force.
Despite the extra enforcement, Richard says this event isn’t as big of a challenge for the town and police as H2Oi. Based on statistics, the number of arrests and traffic citations they see for Cruisin’ is nearly cut in half compared to H2Oi.
“Fall Cruisin’ doesn’t tend to be quite as big of a problem for us as some of the other motor events. Typically for this Endless Summer Cruisin’ event this weekend, it’s people who just want to come in town and just look at each other’s cars and ride around a little bit, so we will still have the extra enforcement in town just because of the sheer number of people here,” explains Richard.
So it’s definitely a busy two weeks in Ocean City, but it’s business local shops and restaurants are happy to have as they start to go into the off season soon.