The Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce officially cut the ribbon on its new 34th Street Welcome Center in a 10 a.m. ceremony Monday.
City, tourism and business leaders celebrated the opening of a visitor center serving the tens of thousands of summer visitors who enter Ocean City at 34th Street every day.
The new facility is located in a corner of the Acme parking lot at 34th Street and Simpson Avenue.
The has operated information centers on the Route 52 causeway or Ninth Street for decades.
The new Welcome Center will offer information on Ocean City accommodations, attractions and restaurants. Free printed brochures will be available. And beach tags will be for sale.
The center will be staffed by Chamber of Commerce employees with the additional staffing costs funded by the Chamber and the Tourism Commission. The facility will be open only for the summer.
"From the Tourism side, we're behind this 110 percent," said Nick Marotta, president of the Ocean City Tourism Development Commission.
The leaders in attendance also celebrated the effort that allowed the new facility to be created.
"Even more than the physical building, it's the cooperation with the city and the Tourism Commission," said Phillip Perri, second vice president of the Chamber.
The city bought an old trailer for $2,000. allowed the Welcome Center to use the spot at no cost, sacrificing three parking spots for the summer. The Tourism Commission provided funding for materials, but locals businesses donated all of the labor required to customize the trailer.
The teamwork has already paid off—with steady traffic throughout the weekend (even before the "official" opening) and on Monday morning.