Agility, strength, coordination to be tested on apparatus coming to 4th St. complex
(March 1, 2019) Although proper stretching is advised, Ocean City visitors and residents can experience a fresh recreational pursuit this summer following the introduction of the “Ninja Obstacle Challenge,” at the Downtown Recreation Complex on Third Street.
Tourism and Marketing Director Donna Abbott announced during the City Council work session on Tuesday that terms were recently finalized for the “Woodward WreckTangle,” a proprietary obstacle course tentatively slated for the northwest corner of Philadelphia Avenue and Third street.
She said the deal came after months of negotiations with Chris Prybylo, a consultant with Powdr Adventure Lifestyle.
“An agreement was approved by council in executive session last week that will bring a Woodward WreckTangle to Ocean City this year,” she said.
Abbott said Woodward is part of the Powdr portfolio, which has owned and operated performance events and venues since its inception in 1970.
Despite the “Ninja Obstacle Course,” being new to the resort, Abbott said the city has prior experience dealing with Prybylo.
“We have previously worked with Chris on the Dew Tour,” she said.
Abbott said the WreckTangle project was initially presented to the Ocean City Tourism Commission, which sent a favorable recommendation for approving the all-ages obstacle course to the mayor and council.
“The WreckTangle is a proprietary “Ninja Obstacle Challenge” … named after its rectangular shape,” she said. “It first debuted two years ago [in Colorado] at Copper Mountain.”
Abbott said since that time interactive Woodward obstacle courses have been built in California, Vermont, Pennsylvania and Cancun, Mexico.
“It comes with an app that participants can compete with friends locally and across the country wherever there is a WreckTangle,” she said. “They can share videos of their run and track their ninja athlete progression.”
Abbott said the terms include leasing a portion of the Third Street park to Powdr Adventure Lifestyle, whose personnel will erect and manage the obstacle course.
“They’re looking to open later in April and run on a weekend basis until the summer season kicks in when it will become a daily operation,” she said.
Pricing and exact hours of operation will be determined later, Abbott said.
“The company is also going to be providing additional incentives to increase use by the residents of the community,” she said.
While the Woodward course will only occupy a portion of the Third Street park, Abbott said placement near adjacent amenities could increase user interest.
“It will be close to the skate park, so we will see kind of a natural interaction there hopefully,” she said.
Councilman Tony Deluca said the obstacle course is an appropriate start toward eventually bringing a larger Woodward natural-terrain progression-based facility to the resort.
“It’s a great first step until a full Woodward is in Ocean City,” he said.
Abbott said the arrangement includes leasing space at the Third Street park facility, which expires in November but contains a renewal option.
“They do have some possibilities for a permanent facility that could be … looked at and pursued,” she said. “That would open up a world of opportunities for camps and year-round travel to Ocean City, in addition to the benefits to our local community.”
Councilman Mark Paddack inquired about safety concerns for the new recreational amenity.
“Are the fences to the field going to be locked or would the facility be able to itself be shut down, so the rest of the park is open to the public?” he said.
Abbott said the Recreation and Parks Department is being consulted to determine the most suitable approach for securing the facility overnight.
“The WreckTangle, the way it’s constructed can automatically lock down at night to secure the facility,” she said. “We still have to determine where the access points are and how it will be gated.”
Councilman Dennis Dare said the new addition would make good use of the underutilized Downtown Recreation Complex.
“We have been looking at for years trying to reinvent these two blocks in downtown Ocean City,” he said. “Capitalizing on your assets, this does it, and hopefully it leads to something even bigger so that we can stay in TripAdvisor’s Top 25 family resorts.”