Ocean City readies for less-restricted summer

Moving around the boardwalk — and dining and drinking outdoors — will all be more like they were pre-pandemic in Ocean City, Maryland, this summer.

For starters, with a statewide mask mandate being lifted, signs on the boardwalk referencing mandatory mask use were set to come down Thursday, Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan said.

The announced removal of restrictions on outdoor dining means people can be seated closer together, Meehan said. He added that outside bars can open and that people can stand at them as well.

Also on the boardwalk, visitors will once again be able to ride the tram, which didn’t run last year. Bus service will be increased after being scaled back dramatically last year.

Meehan said the pandemic caused a 20% drop in the city’s room tax revenue, but he’s optimistic for the months to come.

“If the crowds we’ve had over the last month are any indication of what the summer’s going to be like, it’s going to be a fantastic year in Ocean City,” he said. “Because the boardwalk and the streets and the businesses and restaurants have been extremely crowded over the past month.”

He added, using one noted Ocean City barometer: “The line at Thrasher’s was the longest I ever saw it this past Saturday.”

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, PA, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP sports.

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