Ocean City Locals Respond to Town Being Named 'Drunkest City' by USA TodayLast Edited:
Beautiful beaches. A family friendly boardwalk. Events all year long.
Ocean City, New Jersey is known for many things, but locals say drunk isn’t one of them.
“We have a great police department, there’s kids, older people, everybody is welcome around here,” said Bill Heap, of Ocean City. “There’s nobody walking around with beer bottles or drunkenness.”
“This is a family town when we bring our kids, then our grandkids, you feel safe,” said Bobbie Bryant, a seasonal Ocean City resident.
USA Today reported recently that Ocean City was the state of New Jersey's drunkest town.
Citing statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the article stated that 18.3 percent of adults drink heavily in the historically dry town, which has caused residents to take shots at the publication.
“"When you see an article like that, it goes against everything you’ve known about Ocean City,” said Bob Bryant, a seasonal resident of Ocean City. “So we were very skeptical about the whole thing.”
In a statement from Mayor Jay Gillian, he says: “I’m extremely disappointed to see a national publication devoting its resources to such nonsense. It’s insulting to many loyal residents and guests of 'America’s Greatest Family Resort,' and it’s unfair to mislead the paper’s audience.”
So how did the dry town known as America’s Greatest Family Resort receive that title?
Some locals I spoke with say it’s all just one big mistake.
“While there’s obviously consumption of alcohol in Ocean City, it would just seem that there would be other cities in New Jersey that would be a lot better fit for this,” said Ken Wisnefski, CEO and founder of OCNJ Daily.
“We have a great police department, there’s kids, older people, everybody is welcome around here,” said Bill Heap of Ocean City. “There’s nobody walking around with beer bottles or drunkenness.”
The article also mentions the Ocean City Metro Area, which could include neighboring towns known for their nightlife, such as Somers Point, Sea Isle City, the Wildwoods, and Atlantic City.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in Sea Isle and I can tell you that I saw a lot more alcohol consumption there than I do in Ocean City,” said Wisnefski.
And while some admit that drinking does take place on the island resort…
“It’s a big thing, you know, to bring the alcohol back here and have the porch parties and the deck parties and drink,” said Teresita Doebley, of nearby Somers Point.
…Ocean City still remains a proud, dry, family-friendly town.
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