To the Editor:
Please understand that BYOB is about more than those who want to have a glass of wine with their dinner. It is about saving the year-round business community in Ocean City.
Those who have doubts only need to take a walk throughout the downtown. Many of the stores and restaurants that serviced the year-round residents are empty and now sport a “for sale” sign in the windows that used to feature merchandise.
Twenty five percent of the year round residents have left permanently, the rest go to Florida for the winter. Our schools are filled with children from other towns. Grants have been obtained to re-brand Ocean City.
The hard cold facts are that without customers the stores won’t stay open. If the stores don’t stay open the customers won’t come. Time-starved people have been trained to take their business off island where they can successfully shop in a short amount of time.
Tourists know they need to leave the island to have a glass of wine with their long-anticipated and longed-for vacation dinners. We spend millions to get tourists to come to our town only to chase them off at dinner time, to eat and to shop, taking their hard-earned dollars to the next town’s economy!
Those stores here that last, courtesy of our tourist dollars, place signs up that say “Thanks for a great season. See you next summer.”
So what are those of us who live here year-round supposed to do?
The Ocean City residents of 1889 had the kind of Ocean City they wanted. Like it or not, many changes have come to Ocean City since then.
Electricity, in-door plumbing and automobiles come to mind first. Bikinis vs. ankle length dresses run a close second! Those of us who live here year round have a right to expect the basic comforts of life, a movie theater open year round, a store to buy dress shoes, somewhere to buy sheets and towels in February and, yes, a great restaurant with white table cloths to celebrate our anniversaries and birthdays!
If that sounds terrible then so be it! I’m voting for BYOB because I’m tired of having people tell me I must live the life of the residents of 130 years ago because that is the way they wanted Ocean City! Join me and vote for BYOB so we can Shop, Dine and Play *IN* Ocean City!