beach crowds

Ocean City has thus far only filled one of a pair of four-year beach photography franchise agreements.

(Dec. 7, 2018) Although the final image remains out of focus, Ocean City has only filled one of a pair of four-year beach photography franchise agreements so far, and has failed to see much interest in a contract to offer horse-drawn carriage rides.

Despite marketing a bid package for several weeks, the Ocean City Council received only a single offer for the two available beach photo franchise contracts by its meeting on Monday.

City Clerk Diana Chavis said the current four-year photography agreement ended in November.

“It was advertised in local newspapers [and] it was on eMaryland marketplace,” she said. “It was also as a courtesy forwarded to the recent franchise holder and all the beach equipment operators.”

The terms include a minimum bid of $150,000 annually per franchise, which are each permitted 15 photographers.

Prior to unsealing the sole bid, Council President Lloyd Martin asked for a motion and subsequent unanimous vote to proceed.

Council Secretary Mary Knight announced Jonathon Cameron had bid $152,500 per year for a total of $610,000.

The council voted unanimously to remand the bid to staff for further review.

Councilman Matt James inquired about the yet unfilled franchise contract.

“Will we continue to bid this out for the other franchise?” he asked. 

Martin agreed the question needs an answer.

“I think that’s what staff needs to come back on,” he said.

Questions also remain about the newly created horse-drawn carriage ride franchise agreement after the council announced during a work session last Tuesday the recent solicitation failed to attract any bids.

The three-year contract includes increasing minimum yearly bids starting at $1,000, which bump up $500 annually, closing at $2,000 the final year.

Chavis said the bid package was advertised through standard means and the previous operator, Randy Davis with R&B Ranch, was forwarded details.

Martin said the council could revisit the matter closer to next spring.

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