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As Dew Tour kicks off, businesses are ready to roll

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Cha-ching. Ah, the sweet sound of cash registers opening and closing. That sound will be heard throughout Ocean City this weekend as thousands of people file into the resort for the third annual Dew Tour.

The extreme sports event spans four days and brings some of the best skaters and BMX riders in the world to Maryland’s coast.

Kathy Enste, who owns Dandy Don’s Bike Rentals on Atlantic Avenue with her husband, Don, said business is always better when the Dew Tour is in town.

"The weather looks absolutely perfect for this weekend, which means more customers to ride bikes," she said. "We’re expecting record crowds."

The Dew Tour made its Ocean City debut in 2011 and attendance continues to grow each year.

According to Ocean City Communications Manager Jessica Waters, last year’s Dew Tour brought about 93,000 people to the resort, making it the most well-attended event in Dew Tour history. Add to that the regular vacationers who pack the shore each summer and officials expect the resort's crowds to reach 250,000.

Melanie Pursel, executive director of the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, said local businesses take advantage of the event by offering specials, selling Dew Tour merchandise and hanging posters around town.

“There is a wonderful energy surrounding this event,” she said. “It certainly provides an economic boost in June with room nights, amusement taxes, retail, food and beverage sales, etc.”

Perhaps the best thing about the Dew Tour is that its financial impacts are long-lasting and far-reaching; Pursel said the exposure Ocean City gets from the event enables it to reach potential visitors that may have never visited before.

“Also, with it being in June this year, we can show off Ocean City in time for people to still book a vacation,” she said.

Waters said the business community, especially the Boardwalk business community, sees a demographic that might not normally visit. 

And because the event is televised all over the world, Ocean City is thrust into the national spotlight.

"That’s one of the things we most look forward to," Enste said. "It gives us an opportunity to show off just how great our small town is."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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