Ocean City May Extend Hours at Under-21 Nightclubs - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Ocean City May Extend Hours at Under-21 Nightclubs

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OCEAN CITY, Md.- The town of Ocean City may extend the closing time at under-21 clubs, on a case by case basis. The move would come as a result of a request by Epic Brands, the promoter staging cheerleading competitions at the convention center several times each year in Ocean City. But business owners are cautious.

"They had extended hours years ago," said Dick Sands, of Ocean City. "It was a horrible thing. I called the police department every night because of all of the trouble. And the later it goes, the worse it gets."

Officers responded to 248 calls of service at H20 and H202 this past summer, according to Ocean City Police. Five of which were complaints, 200 were spot checks initiated by police.

"There were a lot more fights," said Sands. "There were a lot more trouble. In fact the guy that was running the place started carrying a gun. And he admitted in a city council meeting."

Town officials said the town's code that's up for discussion was adopted in 2001 as a crackdown on what town officials believe was a widespread of illegal behavior. Most importantly, according to the town charter, under-21 nightclub doors have to close by 12:45 a.m. Unless the new proposal moves forward, which Councilman Brent Ashley hopes it won't.

"I think it's a bad idea," said Ashley. "I think what we are doing here is opening Pandora's Box here again. And I'm against it 100%."

But on the other hand, some business owners believe more hours mean more money, so they're onboard with the change.

"You have to be careful," said Ashley. "There's a difference between quality business and quantity business. So, even though it may be more business it may be more costly in the long-run."

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