(Jan. 10, 2020) The Ocean City Council received a post-holiday present this week when they learned that a beach equipment rental auction produced a 50.32 percent increase in revenue.
“For the south end parcels, the total prior contract was $619,399. The auction resulted in $311,682 more [this year], so we’re at $931,081 for the south end parcels alone … the highest it’s ever been,” City Clerk Diana Chavis reported.
The south end section consists of 34 parcels from South Division Street to 26th Street.
Chavis said while this particular section has always been the city’s most lucrative, the increase had been shocking, almost earning the city $1 million.
“That’s fantastic revenue increase, 311K for the south end,” Councilman Tony DeLuca said.
Six of the contracts had been first-term contracts and were renewed for another three-year term at an annual fee 10 percent greater than the initial term.
These six parcels were the inlet, First Street, Third Street, Ninth Street, 12th Street and 19th Street, and saw gains of $4,620, $2,990, $3,900, $2,320, $2,200 and $1,941 respectively.
As for the other parcels, quite a few sold at double, triple and even quadruple the amount compared to the previous auction, such as the Sixth Street parcel, 312 percent, 11th Street, 325 percent, and 20th Street, which saw a whopping 455 percent change.
City leaders elated by the unexpected revenue, and thanked Chavis for her role in the auction.
“I’m extremely pleased with the substantial increase in revenue,” Chavis said. “It certainly reflects the growing value of this unique, oceanfront business opportunity, one of only two commercial businesses permitted on the beach by the mayor and council.”
The next auction for the south end beach equipment will take place in 2022.