Visitors Invited to See and Shop a Rebuilt Ocean City
'Ocean City is open for business,' the Chamber of Commerce executive director says.
Like a very-much-alive Mark Twain, who once quipped, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated," Ocean City officials and merchants gathered Monday to remind potential shoppers and visitors that the island has survived Superstorm Sandy.
"We want to change the perception that everything is devastated," Public Relations Director Mark Soifer said during a news conference Monday at the Ocean City Music Pier.
Soifer, Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce Director Michele Gillian and City of Ocean City Community Services Director Jim Mallon acknowledged the damage done by the storm, the continued displacement of residents and businesses, and the massive volunteer effort that has helped the recovery. But they emphasized the importance of supporting the local businesses that have been able to reopen since the Oct. 29 storm.
"There couldn't be a more important time to come to Ocean City and help our business community," Gillian said.
- To see a list of 130 businesses now open: Click on the PDF icon above.
- Learn how to attend First Night Ocean City: Admission buttons are on sale now.
"We want to get the word out that Ocean City is open for business," Gillian said.
She noted that the Ocean City Boardwalk has suffered relatively little damage and that the majority of downtown businesses that had flood damage from the storm have been able to remediate and reopen.
Gillian credited a coordinated effort by the city, the Chamber, churches, merchants and citizens with expediting the recovery for many residents and businesses — "not just one segment of society, but everyone."
She also encouraged visitors to make Ocean City's annual New Year's Eve First Night celebration part of their routine this year. The nonalcoholic family event includes 80 entertainment programs at 18 different venues.
Gillian noted that the community has shown strong support for local merchants — with many businesses reporting some of the best holiday shopping weekends they've seen in years.
But she wants to make sure that all potential visitors throughout the region discover how much and how well Ocean City has recovered.