OC businesses prepare for an uncertain offseason amid coronavirus pandemic
OCEAN CITY, Md. – The summer is winding down and that means fewer people will be visiting Ocean City. It is a change that could take a toll on businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s been a downward trend for the end of the summer here and we’re just worried about as we get into the offseason if the people are going to actually be coming to Ocean City,” said Marty’s Playland Manager Joe Mohr.
Joe Mohr with Marty’s Playland tells 47ABC there have been a lot fewer guests at the arcade lately and with so many events canceled or postponed he is concerned that there won’t be enough people at the resort town this fall.
“The town has canceled a lot of the events in the fall and that’s one of the problems we’re going to be facing is we’re not going to have the draw of those people coming into the town,” said Mohr.
Bull on the Beach says their sales have dropped between 30 to 40 percent. So, they are hoping people will visit the resort town during the offseason to help increase business.
“Since a lot of people couldn’t come out really June, July even part of August, I’m hoping that drags out to October, November, December where they can come out and come to Ocean City and enjoy themselves,” said Bull on the Beach President and Founder Phil Houck.
“So, hopefully, that’s true,” said Houck.
Another challenge we’re told is that hotels will now have to come up with creative ways to reel in more customers.
“So, what can we do to either find new hotel guests,” said Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association Executive Director Susan Jones
“Which might be the empty nesters, the kids with toddlers who aren’t yet in school, or maybe we should even suggest to families it’s a great place to have a virtual classroom,” said Jones.
But despite all the uncertainty, businesses tell 47ABC they are hopeful for their survival and that next year will be different.
“2020 is a year that hopefully never happens again and next year I’m assuming there’s going to be a big increase everywhere hopefully,” said Houck.
Some business owners say they have also been facing huge staff shortages. So, they’re hoping that will change as well.
Some businesses want to remind people there are still plenty of jobs up for grabs at the resort town.
For information on job openings, you are encouraged to visit the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce’s website.