OCEAN CITY, Md. – The White Marlin Open wraps up Friday. Ocean City businesses say despite COVID-19, it’s helped to bring customers through their doors.
Owner of Bull on the Beach Phil Houck says that he’s seen a steady stream of customers over the past week. “It’s been great. All special events are always good for Ocean City, whether it’s the fishing tournament. Of course next week you’ve got the air show, which is going to be big. All special events are really tremendous for Ocean City – for restaurants, hotels, and all businesses,” said Houck.
This year – more than 430 boats are registered for the tournament. Houck says that means there are plenty of potential customers in town. “It brings a lot of people in. This year there’s 430 boats, and you have the figure if you average six people a boat, that’s a lot of people in town,” said Houck.
Houck says that this week’s rainy weather has even been a benefit for his restaurant. He says that’s because people may be looking for a dry place for a bite to eat and a drink. “Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday there really wasn’t much fishing because of the weather, but there’s a lot of people in town and everybody’s happy. When you don’t fish that means there’s a lot of people with nothing to do but eat and go out and drink,” said Houck.
The Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce tells 47ABC that many of the town’s hotels are booked and restaurants are filled. The chamber says they don’t have any official numbers on how many people are in town for the open yet. But overall it’s been a good turnout as usual.