Summer beach crowd

Members of the Ocean City Tourism Commission convened at the convention center on 40th Street Monday afternoon for the committee’s first meeting of the year and discussed the following items:

Visitor insights:

Ocean City Director of Tourism and Business Development Tom Perlozzo said he has received detailed reports on where resort visitors originate and what they do while in town. The source of that information is Zartico, a destination tourism management company that tracks and analyzes visitor data.

Councilman Tony DeLuca questioned the data because some of it contradicts information compiled by other providers. For example, the Zartico reports suggest most visitors come to Ocean City from the Washington, D.C. area, while reports late last year said the bulk came from the Philadelphia area.

Perlozzo acknowledged that the Zartico report was incorrect on that score, but said what the reporting system can do is zoom into visitor information such as type of credit card they are using and how much they are spending.

The Zartico report will be provided to the commission every month, Perlozzo said. He also noted that once the resort’s new ad agency, BVK, is fully on board, it will provide additional metrics.

BVK update:

Ocean City and BVK are still negotiating the terms of a contract, and attorneys for both entities are hammering them out.

Jessica Waters, the city’s communications and marketing director said the agreement is very close and she hopes to have one in place by the end of the week.

Waters also said the process is moving full speed ahead.

“I think everybody’s going to like them,” she said of BVK.

Summer fun:

Bob Rothermel of Team Productions spoke briefly about his plans to bring events to Ocean City in the summer of 2022.

Rothermel introduced City Council members to the drone shows that debuted last  last winter. He told the commission on Monday that his initial plan was to get a two-year deal, but it was reduced to one to give the city time to see how well the shows would go.

Rothermel said he thought last summer’s drone shows went very well, though it was solidified when he spoke to people who attended the displays and said they were phenomenal.

One of the down sides of the shows was Rothermel and his team lost a few drones to the bay behind Northside Park. His suggestion for next summer is to move the shows over land.

Still, the drones themselves are expensive. Rothermel told the commission he gave the city a deal when costs are considered. Each of the 200 drones cost him $500 and he and his team put on 20 shows.

“Do the math,” he said.

Rothermel also said the words “Catastrophic failure” kept flashing in his head in neon lights as the drones lifted off for the first show. But it was a success, and he said he wants to do it again.

Along with drone shows, Rothermel plans to bring back the big flag, entertainment for Art X, and various other events that took place last summer.

“We’re here to do it again,” he said. “We want to do it again.”

Rothermel plans to present a full list of events along with funding to the commission at an upcoming meeting.

This story appears in the print version of Ocean City Today on Jan. 14, 2022.

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