46th White Marlin Open boosts local businesses
OCEAN CITY, Md. – The 46th annual White Marlin Open has a record breaking amount of prize money and number of boats entered but it’s also giving a major boost to local businesses.
“It’s the busiest week of the year in Ocean City,” says Jim Motsko, the founder of the White Marlin Open.
The tournament got underway in Ocean City, on Monday, and it shows. “It brings a lot of people that are looking to have a good time in Ocean City just watching the boats come in for the weigh ins. And it brings a lot of professional fishermen from all over the world,” says Jeremy Brink, the co-owner of Ocean 13.
Tens of thousands of people traveled to the resort town. “The restaurants, the bars, the hotels. It’s tournament week and it’s grown into the busiest week of the year,” says Motsko.
And all those visitors are leaving a lasting impression on local businesses. “We’re at about 90 percent or above this week. We do still have some rooms available but it’s very close to sell out and by the end of the week we will sell out every day. It’s what happens every year,” says Danielle Bellante, the director of sales with the Commander Hotel.
Unlike other popular events, the annual fishing tournament reels in bigger numbers for a longer time.
“It’s a week long event and people stay here if they’re going to be here for 5 days, they’re going to be fishing for 3 out of 5, they are usually here for at least 6 nights,” says Motsko.
The event’s timing, towards the end of the summer, is a great note to end the peak season on. “It definitely helps bring in a lot more people. It gives us a nice last hurrah kind of thing,” says Brink.
Bellante says summer is always busy, “It’s just the highlight of the summer. Sure maybe we would be busy this week if it wasn’t White Marlin week but it’s a guaranteed height of summer for us.” But she says there’s nothing quite like the White Marlin Open. “It’s just the quality of people and the energy that comes to town that makes this week really really cool.”
The White Marlin Open is going on through Saturday, August 10th. You can watch the daily weigh-ins from 4 to 9:15 every night at Harbour Island on 14th street. You can also stream the weigh-ins live: here.