The 2014 Allisports Dew Tour opened its 10th season on the beach in Ocean City this past weekend. Now in its fourth year on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the event continues to grow in attendance and size. Located between the Boardwalk and the Atlantic Ocean, just a short stroll from the pier, the festival has established a comfortable footprint in the sand. Its legions of fans can be found occupying hotels, visiting restaurants, and spending time and dropping their wallets along the way.
The 100,000+ who attend the festivities have an immediate, direct economic impact, but that is only one of the blessings bestowed. Due to Dew, Ocean City is now a familiar name to millions who follow action sports. Credit two days of two-hour NBC coverage (with numerous beauty shots of the beach and boardwalk) for instant familiarization. A multi-media website, numerous replays on several cable outlets and endless social platforms keep the visuals alive throughout the tour and in search engine eternity.
According to Donna Abbott, Ocean City tourism and marketing director, the economic impact of the Dew Tour has been estimated at approximately $11.5 million. There were 103,000 attending last year’s event. The 2013 event was also broadcast nationally to nearly 4 million homes and distributed internationally to 99 million. This year’s attendance reached 105,000!!
Fellow HERE2PLAY “reporter” Blair attended the event and got to experience the behind the scenes, and general admissions perspective of the Dew Tour. “It was a beautiful weekend to be in Ocean City, Maryland. Not just for the beach and the boardwalk, but for the thrilling extreme sport competitions as well. There were people every where exploring the different bike, skate and vendor surfaces, but what makes this Dew Tour more exciting then the rest, is that you can do all of it in a bathing suit. On Saturday night I watched the Skate Vert Final from the beach side, and everyone was right up on the action. Pierre-Luc Gagnon ended up blowing away his competition, and by his fourth round he went all out to entertain the crowd. The beach was almost level with the pipe such that every time a skater flew up in the air, the crowd would have to strain their necks to be able to see them
complete their trick. It truly made for a more personal experience with the sport and was worth the neck strain. I have lived in Maryland most of my life, and I have never been to the Dew Tour until this past weekend. It is an unique event that the state of Maryland gets to be apart of, and if you have never gone I would highly suggest getting tickets for next years event!”
While the Dew Tour is probably the largest sports event held on the beach, it is certainly not the only one using this multi-purpose venue.
Earlier in June, the beaches were transformed into soccer “pitches” for perennial sand soccer tournaments. Sand Duels Sand Soccer held their 19th annual challenge and a newer event, Beach 5 Sand Soccer had their 7th competition. Hundreds of competitors of all ages participated, bringing families and friends along.
October brings Mid-Atlantic Surf Fishing Tournament, sponsored by the Ocean City Fishing Club. Founded in 1913, OCFC is the oldest continuously operating fishing club in the United States. Their three-day tournament, in its 35th year, brings hundreds of the best fisherman in the region to the beach between 20th and 119th Streets.
So even with the many venues and facilities Maryland offers athletes and spectators, sometimes it is hard to top what Mother Nature provided us. The beach at Ocean City has to be one of the best – any time of year.