MS. REBECCA SHEIR
We head outside the Beltway now and across Route 50 to Ocean City, Maryland for our weekly series, "On The Coast."
MS. REBECCA SHEIR
Where coastal reporter Bryan Russo brings us some of the latest and greatest happenings on Maryland's eastern shore and coastal Delaware. And to tell us about a first that has the entire town buzzing these days, Bryan joins us now from 88.3 in Ocean City. Hey there, Bryan.
MR. BRYAN RUSSO
So can you tell us what all the excitement is about?
Sure. Ocean City has been chose to be the only city on the East coast to host the 2011 DEW Tour, which is one of the countries premiere extreme action sports events.
Extreme action sports, so we're talking, like, what, like, BMX racing or skateboarding, that sort of thing?
Yes, absolutely and don't forget motocross. And now since Ocean City will become the first ever seaside city to host the DEW Tour, there's going to be a surging competition and that too is a first in the DEW Tour seven-year history. So many people have marked July 21st through the 24th as one of the most anticipated weeks of the summer.
So this does sound like big news but with an event this gi-normous where are they going to put the thing? I mean, come July Ocean City's already jammed packed with tourists, visitors, you know, where are they going to actually hold the event?
Yes, I mean, that was one of the concerns with the timing of this event and obviously the event has a big footprint so to speak. So as organizer Eileen Socul explains, they're setting up right on the beach, near the inlet, in downtown O.C.
MS. EILEEN SOCUL
We'll be taking over the beachfront. We'll set up our vote ramp down there for BMX and skateboarding. We'll have a bowl event for the skaters, a big park course for the BMX riders.
And in addition to all that, Rebecca, there's going to be a festival village on the beach, kind of miring the Olympic Village on just a smaller scale. And event organizers are also planning a huge concert, so there's going to be a huge stage too.
Okay. We've got this gi-normous stage, we've got a massive or, you know, a smaller Olympic Village type thing. We have all of these events, I'm assuming an event like this is going to bring in a lot of money for the community.
Without a doubt, I mean, town officials say it could bring in somewhere between $6 million and $10 million. See, when Baltimore hosted this event back in 2009 it reportedly brought in $10 million.
You mentioned Ocean City is going to be the only East Coast stop on the Tour. Where else is the Tour going?
They're going to be heading to Portland, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. Those are the other host cities. But Ocean City's the first stop on the Tour and it's going to be broadcast nationally and I think like three major networks including NBC. So the exposure for the resort is going to be huge and that, says Mayor Rick Meehan, could be a very good thing.
MR. RICK MEEHAN
I think you're going to see thousands of new visitors come to Ocean City that maybe didn't come that particular time of year or haven't been here before to come down to enjoy this event, to really discover Ocean City. So the economic benefit, I think, goes far beyond just this year.
Ocean City has seen a lot of success in recent years with, you know, a lot of different, big special events. There's the air show, the AVP pro-volleyball tour and all those big motorcycle and classic car weekends. How do you think this one is going to measure up compared with all those?
You're absolutely right, Rebecca. Special events, especially free ones have been huge for the town of Ocean City in attracting visitors. Even in times of like recession or ridiculously high gas prices, the DEW Tour could rank right up there with the air show and event organizers are telling me that they want Ocean City to be a host city for years to come.
Okay. Well, how about the flip side then, Bryan, have you heard any opposition to the town being the host city for the DEW Tour?
Well, surprisingly not, Rebecca, and I say surprisingly because, you know, in that vein of you can't always make everyone happy, it seems historically speaking, even with the town's biggest events, there's always complaints about things like traffic and noise but so far I haven't heard anything like that about the DEW Tour.
Just a minute ago you mentioned gas prices. Speaking of traffic and stuff, do you think higher prices at the pump are going to affect turnout, not only for this event but, you know, for Ocean City's summer as a whole?
Yes, you might think that but oddly enough because of Ocean City's geographic location, that is, like, within a few hours driving distance from five major metropolitan areas, the resort fares pretty well even in tough times because regardless of how much a gallon of gas costs, people still want to go on vacation and see the ocean and if they come on July 21st, they can see the ocean as the backdrop for one of the top extreme sporting events in the country.
Bryan Russo is the host of "Coastal Connection," on 88.3 in Ocean City. Thanks for joining us on "Metro Connection," Bryan.
My pleasure, Rebecca, take care.
Transcripts of WAMU programs are available for personal use. Transcripts are provided "As Is" without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. WAMU does not warrant that the transcript is error-free. For all WAMU programs, the broadcast audio should be considered the authoritative version. Transcripts are owned by WAMU 88.5 FM American University Radio and are protected by laws in both the United States and international law. You may not sell or modify transcripts or reproduce, display, distribute, or otherwise use the transcript, in whole or in part, in any way for any public or commercial purpose without the express written permission of WAMU. All requests for uses beyond personal and noncommercial use should be referred to (202) 885-1200.