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As Long as We Remember...

October 29, 2007

The OC Hotel-Motel Tax Increase

Tom McLaughlin

The Worcester County Commissioners are receiving public opinion about a bill to increase the room tax in Ocean City to attract more tourists. The money would be spent to advertise the town in the Western Shore markets.

Everyone knows the location of Ocean City; it's just that the hotel-motel-condo owners have priced themselves out of the market. No amount of advertising will attract people to the resort until prices come down.

"By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea just bring lotsa moneeee to Ocean Citeeeeee."

I overheard the following conversation in Buckminster, PA.

"Let's go to Ocean City this summer"

"Can't afford it. Rooms cost over $200 a night."

"Well, maybe we can play the slots and win enough to go."

"Good idea! We will drive to Dover, play the games and if we hit the jackpot, we will have enough money for a hotel room."

"Let's go!

The following discussion occurred in a diner near Deep Creek Lake, Maryland.

"I saw an ad on "Wheel of Fortune" for Ocean City. Let's go there this summer."

"It costs a fortune to stay there."

"Well, we need to go someplace!"

"The Russians are offering a rocket flight to the Space Station for only $20 million dollars."

"How many days?"

"Several it says."

"That's cheaper than Ocean City."

"Yea, and look at this. The Spanish are putting up a hotel called Galactic Suites. You get a three day stay, 15 sunrises per day plus an 80 minute earth orbit for only $4 million."

"That's still cheaper than Ocean City. When can we go?"

"They are still working out the problem of going to the bathroom in zero gravity."

Well, in Ocean City they have the ocean."

Darling, West Virginia brought this encounter.

"Did you see the ad about Ocean City on television last night?

"No, what did it say?"

"The New Affordable Ocean City. You can now stay there for a week for $500."


"Per person?"

"It's called the 'Love thy Neighbor' program."

"How does that work?"

"Each hotel room can hold six and they fill up the beds with strangers."

"You mean you don't know the people in the next bed?"

"Yes, but it's the only price reduction the Hotel-Motel Association could come up with."

"Well, make a reservation. It's the only way we can afford the beach."

"What about kids?"

"They sleep under the bed for half price."

"By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea just bring lotsa moneeee to Ocean Citeeeeee!"

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