It’s the little things that make a huge difference and it is about time that Ocean City’s boardwalk has come to realize this. Recently, the town has begun planning an update to its wooden walkway from the southern yellow pine that has begun to splinter and crack. They are looking to replace it with other options that may be more durable. However, the town is now faced with a “cost vs. durability” dilemma. With all of the options presented to them, the interest of their visitors should always come first.
The wood of the boardwalk is just one example of how something so minor can make a big difference. When the board is tidy and attractive, visitors of the boardwalk are happy. People enjoy their experience more when they do not realize that the aesthetically pleasing atmosphere has anything to do with it. However, worn out and unattractive wood can be obvious to beach-goers and will leave a lasting memory of the bad condition of the board.
Causing visitors to feel uncomfortable will make it less likely for them to return, and why would a beach town want to lose its main source of income! Boardwalk guests can be a great way to advertise – people love to talk, especially about great days at the beach, and if they had a great time you can be sure they will influence more people to go. They may even bring along more friends next time they visit.
Just like any business should, the Ocean City boardwalk should always try to be better than its competition. If they both have great stores, a great beach and great employees, then something as little as a beautiful board walk could make the town just that much better than its competitor.
Since the type of board greatly affects the experience of the boardwalk visitors, I think it would be a smart idea to choose durability over price. A higher priced boardwalk that will last longer will be worth the money since it will attract more visitors and bring more money to the boardwalk, covering that cost. Choosing the cheaper wood will only put the boardwalk in the same position a few years from now.
So which will they choose? We’ll have to wait and see whether Ocean City’s tourism dollars go up overtime.