Ocean City Chamber of Commerce Promises No Boredom in Quiet Months

first_imgMerchants will showcase items from their stores at discounted prices. By Maddy VitaleBuilding on the success of Ocean City’s First Night and the First Day Shopping Extravaganza, the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce is offering a host of activities, entertainment and discounts on merchandise at its downtown and Boardwalk shops to keep the resort friendly, fun and far from boring throughout the off-season.Mild temperatures definitely helped draw shoppers to the downtown and the Boardwalk to browse the stores in search of after-Christmas deals.“The 60-degree weather was certainly a bonus and made shopping that much more enjoyable in both the downtown and the Boardwalk,” explained Chamber Executive Director Michele Gillian. “There were a lot of people carrying bags from their favorite Ocean City stores.”Stainton’s Director of Operations Bridget Buchanan said there was a great energy in the shops throughout the holiday season and especially during the First Day Shopping Extravaganza.Stainton’s Director of Operations Bridget Buchanan looks forward to the winter shopping season.“Everyone was talking about how much fun they had at First Night and people who were going to and coming from the Polar Bear Plunge,” Buchanan said. “There was a lot of chatter from locals and non-locals alike. Whether it was their first, First Night, or their fifth. People were just enjoying the weather and shopping specials. What a great way to start the new year off.”Gillian noted that more people are participating in events hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. She said attractions, including free horse and carriage rides downtown, help spur interest in coming to Ocean City for a unique and special atmosphere. She said the horse and carriage rides, reminiscent of the old-fashioned shopping experience, offer a nice aspect to the event.But just because the holiday-themed garland, wreaths, red bows and white lights adorning the downtown will soon be gone, it doesn’t mean the atmosphere will be any less inviting or festive throughout the winter months, Gillian emphasized.She said shoppers, from visitors to residents to second homeowners, will have a host of reasons to keep coming to their favorite boutiques and businesses in Ocean City.Alayna and Nick Pagano, of Lafayette, Pa., owners of a vacation home in Ocean City, with children, Dominick, 4, and Maci, 6, make shopping downtown their holiday tradition.“Downtown stores stay open year-round and a number of Boardwalk stores are open as well,” she said. “It’s a great time to visit. Many stores have great sales throughout the winter to make room for new merchandise.”If shopping is just one thing that lures people to Ocean City in the off-season, March 30 will kick off with a Sports Memorabilia Show at the Music Pier, Moorlyn Terrace and Boardwalk. For more information call (609) 399-6111.Then on April 5, 6, and 7, it’s time for “Girls Weekend” downtown on Asbury Avenue between 6th and 14th streets. A fashion show kicks off the event on Friday evening. There will be shopping and dining specials all weekend, along with accommodation packages, wellness classes and more. More details will be announced later.Kai Tripician joined Star Wars actor Billy Dee Williams on stage for a game of rock-paper-scissors in a pretend bet for control of the Millennium Falcon spaceship during the 2017 OC Con – Comic Book & Memorabilia Show.On April 6 and 7, the OC Con – Comic Book & Memorabilia Show at the Music Pier is sure to create some excitement. For more information visit www.ocnjcon.com.Every year, the Chamber of Commerce-hosted events seem to be gaining a wider audience, Gillian pointed out.There are many reasons for this, including the array of activities, shopping discounts and events for all of the family to enjoy, she said.Another reason is the Chamber’s reach.“The Chamber does a large amount of online advertising promoting the events. We send emails to more than 75,000 people that include our second homeowners,” Gillian explained. “Our social media pages and word of mouth are a big part of it also. Of course, the weather also plays a big factor in any event.”The Chamber’s focus on growing the retail market in both the downtown and Boardwalk shops is a continual effort by the Chamber and the business community, she noted.The website www.OceanCityVacation.com provides the public with a host of information about all that the community has to offer. The Ocean City NJ Vacation app also gives residents, second homeowners and visitors new and exciting ways to shop in Ocean City, Gillian explained.“These are great assets in promoting all the Ocean City businesses,” Gillian said of the website and app. “Through our email program and our social media pages, we can get the word out on everything involving Ocean City very quickly. Our local businesses provide outstanding customer service that cannot be found online.”She summed it up, “Once we get the people here, the business owners go above and beyond to make people want to return to their stores.”Executive Director of the Chamber Michele Gillian tells the audience in an October Business Summit, that the business community should embrace the new features of the app because it will help drive business.last_img


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